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Lesson 26
possessive adjectives

possessive adjectives

A possessive adjective shows who owns something: 

 

Here are the most common possessive adjectives: 

singular

my 

your

his 

her

its

plural

our

your

their

 

possessive adjectives in English

25a. singular possessive adjectives

Look at the relationship between the subject pronoun and the possessive adjective that matches it.  

  singular
   I → my
you → you

he → his

 she → her  
 it → its

Notice that the possessive adjectives goes before a noun. In sentences below, the noun is the word “book.” 

 

  • Use “my” for yourself (I).  It’s my book.  (It’s = It is) 
  • Use “your” for a person you talk to (you).  It’s your book. 
  • Use “his” for a man.  It’s his book. 
  • Use “her” for a woman. It’s her book. 
  • Use “its” for a thing.  It’s its book. (possession is tricky when it comes to a thing, but it’s not impossible.) 

25a. Examples

  • I have a car. 
  • This is my car. 
Do you like my car? 
boy, vintage, school-2026310.jpg
  • You have an assignment. 
  • This is your assignment. 
Do you understand your assignment? 

 

You can ask your teacher for help. 

Your teacher can help you.

bike, together, two-3682650.jpg
  • She is on her bike. 

  • He is on his bike. 

  • The city provides its residents with bike lanes and trails to ride bikes. 

 

25b. plural possessive adjectives

The subject matches the adjective which goes before a noun. 

 plural
   we → our
   you → your

  they → their

 

  • Use “we” for you and me (we).  It’s our classroom. 
  • Use “your” for people you talk to (you).  It’s your classroom. 
  • Use “their” for other people (they).  It’s their classroom.

25b. Example

ai generated, man, teacher-8663328.jpg
  • We meet together every day in class. 
  • This is our classroom.

I + you = we

we → our

ai generated, school, students-8702858.jpg
  • You are in class. 
  • You are in your classroom. 
  • Listen to your teacher!  

you + you = you

you → your

class, discussion, girls-302116.jpg
  • They are in school. 

  • This is their classroom. 

  • They are working on their assignments. 

he / he / she / she +  = they

they → their

25c. The possessive adjective refers to a person who owns something.
  • I have a website. You are on my website. 
  • You have a computer. You use your computer to learn English. 
  • That boy over there is eating lunch. He’s eating his lunch. 
  • That girl by the window is reading a book. She’s reading her book. 
  • The bird outside is making a nest. It’s making its nest in a tree.* 
  • We have some work to do. We are doing our work. 
  • All of you here today want to improve your English. 
  • The people who came here in the past wanted to improve their English. 

* Note: When talking about animals whose gender you are unsure of, use “its.” Otherwise, you could use “his” or “her” if you know the animal’s gender–male or female.

young, cat, window-1373879.jpg

The kitten spends a lot of its time looking out the window. 

Click here for an exercise:

possessive adjectives

Directions: Choose the correct possessive adjective according to the subject.

1. I have a couch in _________ living room.

2. You have a call on _________ phone.
3. He likes to play with _________ his kids.
4. They don’t have the keys to __________ hotel room yet.
5. The dog wants __________ toys.
6. The students received _________ assignment from the teacher.
7. She has __________ own ways of doing things.
8. I have to call __________ son today.
9. They rode __________ bikes to the baseball game.
10. The workers at that company are not happy with __________ wages.
11. Bob took all of __________ medicine.
12. Where are they going on __________ honeymoon?
13. The company recently moved _________ offices to a new location.
14. You and I are working on __________ project together.
15. Why did you throw away __________ shoes?
16. Turkeys build __________ nests on the ground.
17. Where do I sign __________ name on this form?
18. Oscar can’t find __________ his keys.
19. Does your mother have ___________ keys?
20. They forgot to lock __________ door to the apartment.

In Lesson Twenty-seven, you will learn about possessive pronouns. 

It’s a good idea to study possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns at the same time. 

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