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Possessives: adjectives

Level: beginner

Subject Object Possessive adjective
I me my 
you you your
he him his
she her her
it it its
we us our
they them their

We use possessive adjectives:

  • to show something belongs to somebody:

That's our house.
My car is very old.

  • for relations and friends:

My mother is a doctor.
How old is your sister?

  • for parts of the body:

He's broken his arm.
She's washing her hair.
I need to clean my teeth.

Possessives: adjectives


Be careful!

The possessive adjective its does not have an apostrophe ('):

That bird has broken its (NOT it's) wing.

(it's always means it is or it has.)

its or it's?



Hello Sad,

If you wrote 'Mothers day', 'Mothers' would be a noun but acting as an adjective, just like in 'sports day'. But 'Mothers day' is incorrect in standard English, just as 'el Día de las Madres' would be incorrect in standard Spanish. In Spain, at least, it is 'El Día de la Madre' and a quick internet search suggests that it is the same in many other Spanish-speaking places.

There is perhaps no good reason for this; it just shows that although they do have logical structures, in the end, languages are conventions.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Sad,

Yes, 'sports day' and 'Mother's Day' are the forms that are used in standard British English. 'mothers day' is grammatically correct but is not used.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sad,

No, 'sports and leisure' together form an adjectival phrase that modifies 'activity'.

Best regards,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sad,

When speaking about grammar, 'modify' means to 'qualify' in the sense of adding meaning. In the phrase 'the blue sky', the adjective 'blue' modifies the noun 'sky', for example.

Please try looking up words in the dictionary in the future. We're happy to help if you still don't understand after that.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

sir , i have query related to possessive adjective

1. I have completed my graduation .
2. I have completed graduation
which one is correct ?
should we always use possessive adj before objective noun.

3. i am coming directly /to my office /from the station/no error.
which part has error ,please explain with detail explanation.

Hello dhayalsomednra09,

Not every objective noun has a possessive adjective before it. If you read through an article in our Magazine, for example, you'll get a sense for this. You could say either sentence 1 or 2, but to be honest I'd probably just say 'I have graduated' or 'I graduated'.

In number 3 I think you're supposed to choose one of the answers after 'I am coming directly'. Which one do you think it is? It's better if you tell us what you think the answer is and explain to us what you understand or don't understand. That way you have to think about it a bit and we can see how you understand things. In the end, you will learn more that way.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I have some questions about this grammar points. I hope you can explain to me.
1. If the sentence is "Where is my pillow?" and I am asked to change it into the plural form, can I write "Where are our pillows?"?
2. Can I change the sentence "Their shelves are clean." into the singular form like "Her/his shelf is clean."?
3. For a sentence like "I have to put a pizza on my table.", can I just change it into "We have to put pizzas on our table" instead of "our tables"?

I do look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks.

Hello Joowon,

Yes, you could rewrite sentence 1 like that. You could perhaps also say 'my pillows'. Both are grammatically correct. Your versions of 2 and 3 are also correct. You could say 'our table' or 'our tables' -- it depends on what you mean, but both are grammatically correct.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir.
Why we can not use 'his' instead of 'its' in below sentence .
The dog wagged its tail when it saw the postman

Hello Hammad Ahmed Shah,

You could use 'his' in this case if it is a male dog and particularly if it is one that you know or feel some kind of affection for.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team