Possessive pronoun

Possessive Pronoun: ‘This book is mine’. ‘ He is my brother’. ‘Welcome to our class’. As you will notice in the above three sentences, mine, my, and our indicate the ownership of the book, brother, and class respectively. A possessive pronoun is a type of Pronoun which is used to express ownership or possessiveness of a subject or object. A possessive pronoun is used in place of a noun to avoid the repetition of a noun in a sentence and to indicate that something has a direct relationship with someone i.e belongs to that specific individual and no other person.

Let’s have a look at these examples,

This is a car. This is my car. →  This car is mine.

I had lunch with Raman and Raman’s brother, Aman.  → I had lunch with Raman and his brother, Aman.

Here are your books. Our books are over there. → Here are your books. Ours is over there. 

Here, we have seen the use of mine, his, and ours these all are possessive pronouns. This is how they are used to denote the ownership of belongings. In this article, we will explore more about possessive pronouns, types of possessive pronouns, their examples, and usages in a sentence.

Possessive Pronoun Definition

In English Grammar, Possessive Pronouns are defined as the pronouns which refer to a specific person, people, or things having a direct relationship with any person, people, or things. Possessive Pronoun can also be used to express origin or a special relationship. Apostrophes are used to show possession that is something that belongs to someone, but possessive pronouns like, its, hers, yours, ours, and theirs do not need an apostrophe, despite these showing possession or relationships. 

Possessive Pronoun Examples

Possessive Pronoun Examples
Chennai is Saurav’s home and Delhi Is our home.Chennai is Saurav’s home and Delhi Is ours.
I forgot my book. Pass me your book.I forgot my book. Pass me yours.
I don't like this village but I like your village.I don't like this village but I like yours.
He has his own rules and I have my rules.He has his own rules and I have mine.
Who owns this bungalow? Is this your bungalow?Who owns this bungalow? Is this yours?

Types of Possessive pronoun

Possessive pronouns can be of two types depending on the number of people or things they are referring to

1. Singular Possessive Pronoun

When a possessive pronoun refers to a single person or thing then it is called a singular possessive pronoun.

Example: 

Mine- Used for Male and Female.

Yours- Again used for male and female.

His- Used only for males.

Hers- Used only for females.

Its- Used only for a single thing.

2. Plural Possessive Pronoun

When a possessive pronoun is used to refer to more than one person or things then it is known as a plural possessive pronoun.

Example:

Yours- Used for both male and female

Ours- Used for both male and female

Theirs- Used for both males and females and also for more than one thing.

Type Used For
Singular Possessive PronounMineMale and Female
YoursMale and Female
HisMale
HersFemale
ItsObject or Things
Plural Possessive PronounYoursMale and Female
OursMale and Female
TheirsMale, Female, object

There are two more types of possessive pronouns on the basis of the presence of a noun or subject. These are:

3. Dependent Possessive Pronouns

When possessive pronouns are used before a noun to indicate direct ownership or a relationship of the noun with the person or things. These are sometimes also known as Possessive adjectives that clarify who or what owns something. They function as determiners in front of a noun.

Like: My, your, his, her, its, our, your, and their.

Let's take some examples to understand it in a better way.

He is my

Come to our.

The above sentences seem incomplete or incorrect as it does not refer to what is his? Or where to come? To complete the sentence we need a noun. Now look at the below sentences:

He is my husband.

Come to our school.

As you can see after adding a noun, the meaning of the sentence is complete. This is why a dependent possessive pronoun needs a noun to refer to some relations.

4. Independent Possessive Pronouns

When possessive pronouns do not need any noun to indicate ownership, it is known as Independent Possessive Pronouns. These pronouns are also called absolute possessive pronouns.

Pronouns like Mine, ours, yours, his, hers, and theirs are Independent or absolute possessive pronouns.

For example,

He is mine.

The book on the bench is ours.

Is that your shirt? It’s very similar to mine.

SubjectDependent Possessive PronounsIndependent (Absolute) Possessive Pronouns:
IMyMine
WeOurOurs
YouYourYours
HeHisHis
SheHerHers
TheyTheirTheirs
ItItsIts

What is a Gender-Neutral?

Gender-neutral is used to denote a word or expression that cannot be taken to refer to one specific gender. Why is this necessary to understand?

The words, his and her are used to refer to a person-specific gender i.e "his" is used for males. Similarly, "her" is used for females. But when we have to refer to a group where gender specification might be a problem. In that case, we have to use Gender-Neutral like theirs Substitute for the gender-specific pronouns his and hers. It can also be used when referring to a person who identifies as gender-neutral. 

For example,

Each student must take his admit card. This is a wrong statement as it is gender-neutral. 

The right one can be:

Each student must take their Admit card.

Important Points: Possessive Pronoun

  1. A possessive pronoun replaces a noun or noun phrase.
  2. Independent possessive pronoun is also known as Absolute or strong Possessive Pronoun.
  3. A dependent Possessive pronoun is known as a weak possessive pronoun or Possessive adjective.
  4. Apostrophes (-’s) are not used in possessive pronouns.
  5. There's no gender-neutral singular possessive determiner that can be used for people.

Some more examples of Possessive pronouns in sentences.

That is his house and this one is my house.That is his house and this one is mine.
My phone is better than your phone.My phone is better than yours.
The bike parked outside is my bike.The bike parked outside is mine.
Your pet is cute, but not as cute as our pet.Your pet is cute, but not as cute as ours.
I think that our team can defeat their team.I think that our team can defeat theirs.
My laptop is broken. Can I borrow your laptop? My laptop is broken. Can I borrow yours?
This ball is a ball. This is our ball.This ball is ours.
The car parked outside is my car.The car parked outside is mine.
These are my pencils and those are your pencils.These are my pencils and those are yours.
I looked everywhere for your I-card, but I couldn't find your I-card.I looked everywhere for your I-card, but I couldn't find yours.

Also Read

Parts of Speech
PronounPersonal Pronoun
Reflexive PronounRelative Pronoun
NounAdjective
AdverbPreposition
VerbConjunction
Possessive Pronoun: FAQs

Answer: Possessive Pronouns are defined as the pronouns which refer to a specific person, people, or things having a direct relationship with any person, people, or things.

Answer: Independent possessive pronoun is also known as Absolute or strong Possessive Pronoun. When possessive pronouns do not need any noun to indicate ownership, it is known as Independent Possessive Pronouns.

Answer: Dependent Possessive pronoun is known as a weak possessive pronoun. When possessive pronouns are used before a noun to indicate direct ownership or a relationship of the noun with the person or things.

Answer: The Examples of possessive pronouns are: My, Mine, our, ours, your, yours, his, her, hers, its, and theirs.

Answer: Dependent Possessive pronoun is known as a weak possessive pronoun or Possessive adjective. The 7 possessive adjectives are My, your, his, her, its, our, and their.

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