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Pronouns #2 (Possessive Adjectives / Pronouns), by Dennis Oliver

Possessive Adjectives
and
Possessive Pronouns

 

Possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns in
English are often confusing--because most of them are
very similar in form and one has exactly the same form
for both the adjective and the pronoun.

possessive
adjectives
 

possessive
pronouns

my
 

mine

your
 

yours

his
 

his

her
 

hers

its
 

--- *

our
 

ours

your (plural)
 

yours (plural)

their
 

theirs

 

The grammar requirements for possessive adjectives and
possessive pronouns are different, however:

possessive
adjectives
 

Use these with nouns or
noun phrases:

What's my / your / his / her / its /
our / their problem?

Jill doesn't have my / your / his /
her / our / their home phone number.

     
possessive
pronouns
 

Use these alone. Don't use them
with nouns or noun phrases:

Everyone has problems. What's
mine / yours / his / hers / ours / theirs?

Joe has everyone's home phone
numbers except mine / yours /
hers / ours / theirs.

___________________________________________

 

Special Notes:

1.  

Important: Adjectives are not plural in
English, so possessive adjectives have
only one form:

That's my / your / his / her / our / their key.

Those are my / your / his / her / our / their keys.

     
2.  

Important: Do not use possessive pronouns
with nouns or noun phrases:

< FONT COLOR="#ff0000" SIZE="+1">wrong: Those are *theirs books.

wrong: Have you met *mine brother?

     
3.   Remember: There is no commonly used
possessive pronoun for it.
     
4.  

The words its and it's are pronounced the
same, but they have different meanings
and grammar:

its = possessive adjective

it's = contraction for it is or it has

Do not use it's for a possessive pronoun:

wrong: What are *it's main advantages?

wrong: Read the instruction manual.
*It's directions are easy to understand.

 

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