A possessive adjective is a word that shows ownership or possession. It helps us indicate that something belongs to someone. In other words, it tells us who owns or possesses a particular thing.
For example, let’s say you have a book. If you want to show that the book belongs to you, you would use the possessive adjective “my.” So, you would say, “This is my book.” Here, “my” shows that the book belongs to you.
Here are some common examples of possessive adjectives:
- My (used when something belongs to you)
- Your (used when something belongs to someone you are talking to)
- His (used when something belongs to a male)
- Her (used when something belongs to a female)
- Its (used when something belongs to an object or an animal)
- Our (used when something belongs to a group including yourself)
- Their (used when something belongs to multiple people)
List of Possessive Adjectives
Singular Possessive Adjectives:
- Its (used for inanimate objects or animals)
Plural Possessive Adjectives:
Here are some examples of possessive adjectives used in sentences:
- This is my book.
- Is this your pen?
- His car is parked outside.
- Her dog is very friendly.
- The cat licked its paws.
- Our house is located on Maple Street.
- Are these your shoes?
- Their garden is full of beautiful flowers.
How to Use Possessive Adjectives?
Using possessive adjectives are used to show ownership or possession of something. Let’s break it down with some easy-to-understand examples:
1. Before Nouns: Possessive adjectives come before nouns to show that the noun belongs to someone or something. For example:
- This is my pencil. (The pencil belongs to me.)
- Is this your backpack? (The backpack belongs to you.)
- His sister is very talented. (The sister belongs to him.)
2. Agreement with the Noun: Possessive adjectives should agree with the noun they modify. If the noun is singular, the possessive adjective should be singular. If the noun is plural, the possessive adjective should be plural. For example:
- My cat is adorable. (Singular noun: cat)
- Our cats are playful. (Plural noun: cats)
3. Agreement with Gender: In English, possessive adjectives do not change based on gender. They remain the same for both masculine and feminine nouns. For example:
- Her book is interesting. (Feminine noun: book)
- His car is fast. (Masculine noun: car)
4. Neutral Possessive: For objects and animals, we use “its” as the possessive adjective to show possession. For example:
- The tree lost its leaves. (The leaves belong to the tree.)
- The dog wagged its tail happily. (The tail belongs to the dog.)
5. Using Possessive Adjectives with People: We use possessive adjectives to show relationships with people:
- This is our teacher, Mr. Smith. (The teacher belongs to us.)
- Is this your brother? (The brother belongs to the person we are talking to.)
6. Avoiding Possessive Pronouns: Be careful not to confuse possessive adjectives with possessive pronouns. Possessive adjectives modify nouns, while possessive pronouns replace nouns.
- Incorrect: Your coat is blue, and yours is red. (Replace “yours” with “your coat.”)
- Correct: Your coat is blue, and your friend’s is red.
Possessive Adjective vs Possessive Pronoun
Let’s explore the differences between possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns.
Possessive Adjectives: Possessive adjectives are used to modify or describe a noun, indicating ownership or possession. They come before the noun they modify.
Possessive Pronouns: Possessive pronouns, on the other hand, replace a noun to show ownership or possession. They stand alone without a noun following them.
2. Noun Replacement:
Possessive Adjectives: Possessive adjectives are always followed by a noun. They specify who owns or possesses the noun. For example: “my book,” “your car,” “his house.”
Possessive Pronouns: Possessive pronouns replace the noun entirely. They stand alone without a noun following them. For example: “The book is mine,” “The car is yours,” “The house is his.”
3. Position in a Sentence:
Possessive Adjectives: Possessive adjectives come before the noun they modify. For example: “my cat,” “our house,” “their toys.”
Possessive Pronouns: Possessive pronouns are used in place of the noun and can stand alone in a sentence. For example: “The cat is mine,” “The house is ours,” “The toys are theirs.”
- This is my dog. (The possessive adjective “my” modifies the noun “dog.”)
- Is that your phone? (The possessive adjective “your” modifies the noun “phone.”)
- The dog is mine. (The possessive pronoun “mine” replaces the noun “dog.”)
- The phone is yours. (The possessive pronoun “yours” replaces the noun “phone.”)
Here’s a quick comparison chart to help illustrate the differences:
Exercises and Practice Questions
- That is _______ book.
- Is this _______ pen?
- Our house is bigger than _______.
- Can I borrow _______ car?
- She is _______ best friend.
- Is this _______ dog?
- The cat is eating _______ food.
- They lost _______ way.
- I love _______ job.
- Please bring _______ umbrella.
- That is my book.
- Is this your pen?
- Our house is bigger than theirs.
- Can I borrow your car?
- She is my best friend.
- Is this their dog?
- The cat is eating its food.
- They lost their way.
- I love my job.
- Please bring your umbrella.
1. ___________ parents are doctors.
2. Is this ___________ book?
3. I lost ___________ phone.
4. ___________ cat is very cute.
5. Can you please pass ___________ water?
- a) Their
- a) your
- b) my
- a) Her
- c) your