What is a possessive pronoun?
Possessive pronouns are those designating possession. They may also be used as substitutes for noun phrases, and they are typically found at the end of a sentence or clause. There are only a few possessive pronouns in the English language, and there are only two specific rules for using them correctly. Keep these rules in mind when using possessive pronouns, and you’ll discover that writing properly is easier.
- Like its name suggests, a possessive pronoun indicates ownership.
- Possessive pronouns do not contain apostrophes.
A possessive pronoun is used to avoid repeating information that has already been made clear. These useful pronouns make sentences less confusing, as you’ll see when you read the following sentences containing examples of possessive pronouns.
Examples of Possessive Pronouns
The following sets of sentences illustrate how possessive pronouns provide clarity. Possessive pronoun examples are italicized.
- This is my cat, not your cat. (Sounds repetitive)
- This cat is mine, not yours.
- I didn’t have my book so Jenny lent me her book. (Sounds repetitive)
- I didn’t have my book, so Jenny lent me hers.
- Your car is a lot faster than my car. (Sounds repetitive)
- Your car is a lot faster than mine.
Common Noun Examples
Possessive pronouns are often accompanied by common nouns. The following are some examples of common nouns that are frequently used in the same sentences as possessive pronouns.
In the following example sentences, the common noun is in bold, and the possessive pronoun is in italics.
- I lost my watch.
- This is her birthday.
- I’m going to give you your money back
Possessive Pronoun Exercises
The following exercises will help you gain greater understanding about how possessive pronouns work. Choose the best answer to complete each sentence.
- The mother cat and __________ kittens napped in the sunshine.
Answer: D. The mother cat and her kittens napped in the sunshine.
- I like cream cheese on _________ bagels.
Answer: A. I like cream cheese on my bagels.
- ________ grandfather used to take us fishing.
Answer: C. Our grandfather used to take us fishing.
- Elaine bought ________ dress at the mall.
- D. Hers
Answer: C. Elaine bought her dress at the mall.
- The car lost _________ rear bumper in an accident.
Answer: B. The car lost its rear bumper in an accident.
- The horse swished _________ tail to keep flies away.
Answer: B. The horse swished its tail to keep flies away.
- This dessert is ___________ but you can have it.
Answer: B. This dessert is mine but you can have it.
- Please return _________ money at once.
Answer: C. Please return my money at once.
- ______ car is so dirty I can’t even tell what color it is.
- When the cat saw the dog, it stopped in ______ tracks.
Answer: B. When the cat saw the dog, it stopped in its tracks.
Answer: A. Your car is so dirty I can’t even tell what color it is.
Possessive Pronouns List
The following list of possessive pronouns is accompanied by a list of corresponding subjects. While other subjects may be substituted, the following examples give the possessive pronouns context.