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Possessive Pronouns | (A-Level, Basic)

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Prerequisites: For this lesson, you should know the following subjective personal pronouns, objective personal pronouns, and possessive determiners. (Links open in a new tab.)

Summary: Subject Pronouns – Possessive Pronouns

Person Singular Plural
First I – mine we – ours
Second you – yours you – yours
Third he – his
she – hers
it – (—)
they – theirs

Possessive Pronouns: Ownership

To show who has or owns something, we use a possessive determiner before the thing (my, your, his, her, its, ours, theirs). Possessive pronouns replace the determiner and thing.

Possessive pronouns are especially useful to avoid repeating the noun. Examine the following example sentences.


This house is Ann’s house.

This house is her house.

This house is hers.

This car is not my friends’ car.

This car is not their car.

This car is not theirs.

Examples: Singular possessive pronouns showing ownership

— Is this John’s shirt?
— No, it’s mine.
(This shirt is my shirt.)

Is this Ann’s house or yours?
(… Ann’s house or your house?)

My books are on the table, hers are in that box, and yours are on your desk.

Examples: Plural possessive pronouns showing ownership

— Are these your shirts?
— No, they’re theirs.
(These shirts are their shirts.)

— Is this your car?
— No, it’s theirs!
(This car is their car.)

This house is ours.
(This house is our house.)

Possessive Pronouns: Relationship or Association

When you say, “I have a son,” it does not mean you own your son. You are saying there is a relationship between you and him. You use possessive pronouns to show the same relationship.

Possessive pronouns also show an association between persons and things. When you say, “My name is Ann,” you do not “own” that name. That is the name associated with you.


Examples: Possessive pronouns showing a relationship

— My boss is not very nice.
— Really? I love mine.
(I love my boss.)

My teacher’s name is Jack Smith. Hers is Alan Smith.
(Her teacher’s name is Alan Smith.)

Our mothers (my and my friend’s mothers) are from California. Mine is from San Diego. His is from Los Angeles.

Examples: Possessive determiners showing an association

My hair is brown. Is yours black?

My legs are short. Hers are long.

Our apartment has only one bedroom. Theirs has three.


The possessive pronoun can be singular or plural. This means it refers to a single person (mine, yours, his, hers) or to more than one person (ours, yours, theirs).

When the possessive pronoun is used as the subject of a sentence, the subject can be singular or plural depending on the noun the pronoun replaces.

Examples: Singular Subject

My hair is black. Yours is brown.

Your grandfather is from Colombia. Hers is from Morocco.

Our teacher is American. Theirs is Canadian.

Examples: Plural Subject

My eyes are brown. Yours are green. (plural subject)

Your parents are from Colombia. Hers are from Morocco.

Our teachers are American. Theirs are Canadian.


Practice 1. Fill in the blanks using possessive pronouns.

Practice 2. Fill in the blanks using a possessive pronouns or determiner.

Practice 3. Rewrite sentences using possessive pronouns and determiners.

Congratulations on completing this lesson!

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