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Possessive Pronouns

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.

I

It

You

Me

This

That

Him

Her

They

We

Them

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.

  1. The horse swished _________ tail to keep flies away.
    1. It’s
    2. Its
    3. Its’
    4. The

Answer: B. The horse swished its tail to keep flies away.

  1. This dessert is ___________ but you can have it.
    1. My
    2. Mine
    3. Yours
    4. Delicious

Answer: B. This dessert is mine but you can have it.

  1. Please return _________ money at once.
    1. Mine
    2. Your
    3. My
    4. Its

Answer: C. Please return my money at once.

  1. ______ car is so dirty I can’t even tell what color it is.
    1. Your
    2. Yours
    3. Hers
    4. Ours

Answer: A. Your car is so dirty I can’t even tell what color it is.

  1. When the cat saw the dog, it stopped in ______ tracks.
    1. My
    2. Its
    3. His
    4. Hers

Answer: B. When the cat saw the dog, it stopped in its tracks.

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.

Subject Possessive Pronoun
It Its
I My, Mine
You Your
She Her, Hers
He His
We Our, Ours
They Their, Theirs
You (plural) Yours