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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.

  1. This is my cat, not your cat. (Sounds repetitive)
  2. This cat is mine, not yours.
  3. I didn't have my book so Jenny lent me her book. (Sounds repetitive)
  4. I didn't have my book, so Jenny lent me hers.
  5. Your car is a lot faster than my car. (Sounds repetitive)
  6. 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.

  1. I
  2. It
  3. You
  4. Me
  5. This
  6. That
  7. Him
  8. Her
  9. They
  10. We
  11. Them

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