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Lesson 27
possessive pronouns

possessive pronouns

A possessive pronoun indicates who owns something. This type of pronoun may be used as a subject, a subject complement, or as an object. 

 

Here are the most common possessive pronouns: 

singular

mine

yours

his

hers

its

plural

ours

yours

theirs

 

possessive pronouns in English

Here are the pronouns that we have studied so far: 

subject 

I

you

he

she

it

we

you

they

object

me

you

him

her

it

us

you

them

possessive adjective

my ______

your ______

his ______

her ______

its ______

our _____

your _____

their _____

(These are adjectives because they come before a noun, but its okay to refer to them as pronouns.)

possessive pronoun

mine

yours

his

hers

its

ours

yours

theirs

27a. singular possessive pronouns

When you think of a possessive pronoun, you also think of the other pronouns that match it. 

first person – singular

  • subject: I 
  • object: me
  • possessive adjective: my
  • possessive pronoun: mine

Examples

bicycle, bike, forest-1834265.jpg
  • I have a bike. 
  • It belongs to me.
  • This is my bike. 
  • This bike is mine
  • Your bike is yellow. 
  • Mine is black. 
  • You have your bike. I have mine

second person – singular

 
  • subject: you
  • object: you
  • possessive adjective: your
  • possessive pronoun: yours

Examples

bike, bicycle, beautiful flowers-190483.jpg
  • You have a bike. 
  • It belongs to you.
  • This is your bike. 
  • This bike is yours
  • My bike is black. 
  • Yours is yellow. 
  • I have my bike. You have yours

third person – singular (male) 

 
  • subject: he
  • object: him
  • possessive adjective: his
  • possessive pronoun: his

Examples

man, coffee, outdoors-3803551.jpg
  • He has a cup of coffee. 
  • It belongs to him.
  • This is his coffee. 
  • The coffee is his
  • My coffee is a little bitter. 
  • His is very smooth. 
  • I have my coffee. He has his

third person – singular (female) 

 
  • subject: she
  • object: her
  • possessive adjective: her
  • possessive pronoun: hers

Examples

woman, drinking, coffee-601568.jpg
  • She has a cup of coffee. 
  • It belongs to her.
  • This is her coffee. 
  • The coffee is hers
  • My coffee is a little bitter. 
  • Hers is very smooth. 
  • I have my coffee. She has hers

third person – singular (thing or animal) 

 
  • subject: it
  • object: it
  • possessive adjective: its
  • possessive pronoun: its

Examples

house, icon, symbol-2492054.jpg
  • It has a red door. 
  • Someone painted it red. 
  • Its door is red. 
  • The door on my house is blue. 
  • Its is red. 
(Note: It is hard–but not impossible–to use a possessive pronoun for a thing.) 

27b. plural possessive pronouns

first person – plural (you + I) 

 
  • subject: we
  • object: us
  • possessive adjective: our
  • possessive pronoun: ours

Examples

school, teacher, education-7052873.jpg
  • We have a classroom. 
  • The classroom belongs to us.
  • It’s our classroom. 
  • The classroom is ours
  • The students over there have a big classroom. 
  • Ours is small.
  • They have their classroom. We have ours

second person – plural (you) 

 
  • subject: you
  • object: you
  • possessive adjective: your
  • possessive pronoun: yours

Examples

ai generated, school, students-8702858.jpg
  • You have a lesson to finish. 
  • The teacher assigned it to you
  • It’s your assignment. 
  • The assignment is yours
  • Their assignment is very easy. 
  • Yours is very difficult. 
  • They have their assignment. You have yours

third person – plural (he, she, it) 

 
  • subject: they
  • object: them
  • possessive adjective: their
  • possessive pronoun: theirs

Examples

adults, people, international-3984852.jpg
  • They have a goals to improve their English.  
  • A teacher works with them to help them achieve their goal. 
  • The decision to improve is theirs.
  • You have a goal. They have theirs

27c. Possessive pronouns may be singular or plural.

To determine is a possessive pronoun is singular or plural, you have to determine the things or people to which it refers. 

  • His experiences at that school weren’t very good, but mine were great! (The pronoun “mine” represents “my experiences,” so the verb that follows “mine” is plural. 
  • Her cat is friendly, unlike ours, which can be mean sometimes. (The pronoun “ours” represents “our cat.”)
  • That’s not his. It’s hers. (Both possessive pronouns, “his” and “hers” are singular.)
  • Those are not his. They’re hers. (Both possessive pronouns, “his” and “hers” are plural.) 
  • Her idea is interesting, but I prefer yours. (Is the possessive pronoun, “yours,” singular or plural in this sentence?)

In Lesson Twenty-eight, you will learn how to form the past continuous tense. 

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