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Possessive Pronouns – Concept and Its Uses

Sep 2, 2022
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Possessive pronouns are used to show ownership or possession.  

They say that something belongs to someone. 

For example: Peter asked, “Is that bag yours?” 

Here, yours is the possessive pronoun. 

Possessive pronouns are used in place of a noun or a noun phrase.  

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Mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours and theirs are possessive pronouns. 

These are also known as strong or absolute possessive pronouns. 

For example: Tia said that the pen is hers. 

Possessive adjectives are used as determiners in front of a noun to show someone who owns something.  

My, your, his, her, its, our, and there are possessive adjectives. 

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These are also known as weak possessive pronouns. 

For example: Tia said that it is her pen. 

Singular possessive pronouns 

If a possessive pronoun refers to only one person or thing, it is known as a singular possessive pronoun. 

For example: My friend is taller than your friend. 

My friend is taller than yours. 

Plural possessive pronouns 

If a possessive pronoun refers to more than one person or thing, it is known as a plural possessive pronoun. 

For example: Our teachers are talking to their teachers. 

Our teachers are talking to theirs. 

Possessive pronouns do not have apostrophe.

For example: Yours, hers 

Pronouns like his and hers denote gender. If you want to use a gender neutral singular pronoun, theirs can be used. 

For example: Each student should bring his lunch. 

This sentence is correct if all the students are males. When we are not sure about that, we can say: 

Each student should bring their lunch. 

Another way of saying this is to make the sentence plural. For instance: 

All students should bring their lunch. 

Possessive pronouns can be used as both subject and object. 

For example: 

Have a look at these dresses. Mine is the pink one. (Subject = Mine, i.e., my dress) 

I went to the tailor to get my dress, but I didn’t get mine. (Object = Mine, i.e., my dress) 

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