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Possessives: pronouns


Level: beginner

Subject Object Possessive adjective Possessive pronoun
I me  my mine
you you your yours
he him  his his
she her  her hers
it it its -
we us  our ours
they them  their theirs


Be careful!

Possessive pronouns do not have an apostrophe:

Is that car yours/hers/ours/theirs?
(NOT Is that car your's/her's/our's/their's?)

We can use a possessive pronoun instead of a full noun phrase to avoid repeating words:

Is that John's car?
     No, it's mine.
 (NOT No, it's [my car].)

Whose coat is this?
     Is it yours? (NOT Is it [your coat]?)

Her coat is grey.
     Mine is brown. (NOT [My coat] is brown.)


Possessives: pronouns 1


Level: intermediate

We can use possessive pronouns and nouns after of. We can say:

Susan is one of my friends. > Susan is a friend of mine.
(NOT Susan is a friend of me.)

I am one of Susan's friends. > I am a friend of Susan's.
(NOT I am a friend of Susan.)

Possessives: pronouns 2




Hello MoHa-Mo,

Yes, you're right – sorry for the confusion. The example of 'a friend of mine' is an exception to the rule, i.e. in almost all other cases, after the object form of a pronoun is used after a preposition, e.g. 'They talked about him', 'We've not heard anything from her', 'You're looking at me?', etc.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello! Could you tell me what is difference between two questions: 1) Is this coat yours? 2) Is Diana a friend of yours? Why in first question is only coat yours (without of) and in the second is a friend of mine.
Tnank you in advance

Hello kea75,

In 1), 'this coat' and 'yours' are different parts of the sentence structure. 'this coat' is the subject noun phrase and 'yours' is the predicate. In 2), on the other hand, 'a friend of yours' all goes together as one predicate noun phrase. 

When we want to use a possessive adjective with a noun, there can't be a determiner in front of it – for example, we can say 'my coat' but not *'a my coat'. For this reason, the possessive structure 'of + possessive' is used: 'a coat of mine'.

I hope that clarifies it a bit for you.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Her coat is grey



On the last examples :
(a) I am a friend of Susan's.
(b) I am friend of susan.
why (a) is correct and (b) is false؟

and a) it could be I am a friend of Susan's brother.


I can see why this looks an unusual use, but it is the standard use. As to why, I can only say that the rule grew up through common use, and reflects that.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

So, which one is correct? The (a) one, right?

Hello DonStarr,

Yes, that is the most common use but (b) is not wrong, simply less common.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Possessive pronouns is enlightening