General knowledge about the best possessive pronouns

by Johnny Jacks
Understanding how to use possessive pronouns fluently is essential in mastering the English language. These pronouns are incredibly common in both everyday conversations and written sentences. In this article, we will delve into the world of possessive pronouns, covering their definition, usage, and practical examples.

What Are Possessive Pronouns in English?

Possessive pronouns, also known as possessive determiners, are words employed in place of previously mentioned nouns within a sentence. They serve to avoid redundancy and emphasize ownership or possession.

Possessive pronouns share close ties with personal pronouns, and they do not precede nouns.

For instance:

  • I -> mine: “Her hair is brown. Mine is red.” (In this example, ‘mine’ replaces ‘my hair’ to prevent repetition.)
  • She -> hers: “It’s your money, not mine.” (‘Not mine’ replaces ‘not my money’ to emphasize ownership.)

To gain a deeper understanding of these pronouns and learn how to use them effectively, refer to the comprehensive possessive pronoun table below.

English Possessive Pronoun Chart

This comprehensive possessive pronoun chart provides a detailed list of possessive pronouns along with specific examples for each word. Use this guide to master the usage of these pronouns in your English communication.

Personal Pronoun Possessive Pronoun Example Sentence
I mine Her car is blue. Mine is red.
You yours This book is yours, not mine.
He/She/It his/hers/its His house is big, but hers is small.
We ours Our cat is playful, and so is theirs.
They theirs Those bikes are theirs, not ours.
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By referring to this table, you can confidently use possessive pronouns in various contexts, making your English communication more effective and concise.

Placement of Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns can be positioned as the subject, object, or sometimes after a preposition in a sentence.

Possessive Pronoun as Subject

Possessive pronouns can appear at the beginning of a sentence and function as the subject (before the verb).

For example:

  1. Look at these books. Mine is the newest one. (Mine = My book as the subject)
  2. My flowers are dying. Hers are beautiful. (Hers = Her flowers)
  3. All the interviews were good but his was the best. (His = His interview)
  4. Our cat is dark grey, but theirs is black. (Theirs = Their cat)

Possessive Pronoun as Object

Possessive pronouns can follow verbs and serve as objects within a sentence.

For example:

  1. I love your toys. Do you like mine? (Mine = My toy)
  2. David found his passport, but Peter couldn’t find his. (His = His passport)
  3. I don’t like my house, but I like yours. (Yours = Your house)

Possessive Pronouns after Prepositions

Possessive pronouns are used following various prepositions.

For example:

  1. His ideas don’t align with mine. (His ideas don’t match mine.)
  2. Is she a friend of yours? (Is she your friend?)
  3. Our problems become insignificant when compared to theirs. (Our problems pale in comparison to theirs.)
  4. His views eventually prevailed over theirs. (His views eventually won out over theirs.)

How to Use Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns are utilized in the following ways:

Replacing Nouns Containing Possessive Adjectives

Possessive pronouns can replace noun phrases that include possessive adjectives. As shown in the examples above, possessive pronouns are used instead of possessive adjective + noun phrases.

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For example:

  • My book is interesting. Your book is boring.= My book is interesting. Yours is boring.

    In this case, the possessive pronoun “yours” replaces “your book.”

Emphasizing Possession

Possessive pronouns are employed when there is a desire to emphasize or draw attention to ownership.

For example:

  • This cat is mine. (Emphasizing ownership: This cat belongs to me.)This emphasis becomes more pronounced during actual communication.

Double Possession After “Of”

In some instances, possessive pronouns are observed after the preposition “of,” forming a dual possession. This combination is known as double possession.

For example:

  • He is a friend of mine. (Expressing a relationship: He is one of my friends.)
  • You might have accidentally taken my keys instead of his. (Indicating possession: You may have mistakenly taken my keys instead of his.)

Possessive Pronouns in Closing of Letters

The possessive pronoun "yours" at the end of the letter. (Photo: Internet Collection)

When writing letters, people conventionally use possessive pronouns. The common possessive pronouns used for letter closings include:

  • Yours: Informal and friendly
  • Yours sincerely: Formal and polite
  • Yours faithfully: Formal and respectful

Distinguishing Between Possessive Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives

Both possessive pronouns and possessive adjectives indicate possession, but their usage differs significantly.

Possessive adjectives always precede a noun and modify that noun. Possessive pronouns cannot be used with any other noun.

For example:

Possessive pronoun: This must be your T-shirt. Mine has stains on it. (This must be your T-shirt. Mine has stains on it.) Possessive adjective: This is my friend

Subject Object Possessive Adjective Possessive Pronoun
I me my mine
You You your yours
He him his his
She her her hers
It it its
We us our ours
They them their theirs

Possessive pronoun exercises

Lesson 1: Choose a suitable possessive pronoun to fill in the blank in the sentence below:

(Mine/ yours/ his/ hers/ its/ ours/ theirs)

1. This jumper belongs to Richard’s. It’s _________.

2. I have made my bed, but my sister hasn’t made _________.

3. Can I borrow your rubber? I can’t find _________.

4. This car belongs to my parents. It’s _________.

5. These shoes belong to you. They are _________.

6. This is Oliver’s notebook. It’s _________.

7. This is the parrot’s food. It’s _________.

8. Kate and Ben own this house. It’s _________.

9. This umbrella doesn’t belong to me. It isn’t _________.

10. You have got a lot of toys. Are all of them _________?

Answer:

  1. his

  2. hers

  3. mine

  4. theirs

  5. yours

  6. his

  7. its

  8. theirs

  9. mine

  10. yours

Lesson 2: Choose the correct answer to complete the sentence.

1. Is this cup (your/ yours)?

2. The coffee is (my/ mine).

3. That coat is (my/ mine).

4. He lives in (her/ hers) house.

5. You might want (your/ yours) phone.

6. The new car is (their/ theirs).

7. She cooked (our/ ours) food.

8. Don’t stand on (my/ mine) foot!

9. She gave him (her/ hers) a suitcase.

10. I met (their/ theirs) mother.

11. Is this (their/ theirs) coffee?

12. Is the flat (her/hers)?

13. The gray scarf is (my/ mine).

14. That red bike is (our/ ours).

15. We should take (our/ ours) coat.

Answer:

1. yours

2. mine

3. mine

4. her

5. your

6. theirs

7. our

8. my

9. her

10. their

11. their

12. hers

13. mine

14. ours

15. our

Here is all the knowledge you need to remember about possessive pronouns. We hope you have understood how to use these pronouns in both written and spoken English, as well as the difference between possessive pronouns and possessive adjectives.

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