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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





I'd like to check which of the following is correct

(A) Mary's friends promised to take Mary to the mall.
(B) Mary's friends promised to take her to the mall.

From what we know of pronouns, they are used to replace a subject that has been mentioned earlier in the sentence. Is it acceptable if the the subject's name is mentioned again?

Thank you very much!

Hello hellomisspun,

Both of these sentences are correct. If it's clear from the context that 'her' refers to Mary, sentence B would be much more likely, but sentence A is not incorrect. Sentence A would be more likely when you want to be very clear about who they were taking to the mall.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot, Krik!

Hello sir ,
I had this question in an exam and I doubt my answer . Here is the question :
Jane always asks my sister and ......... for advice .
A) her
B) hers

I went with the second choice ..

Hello Zahra,

I'm afraid that B is not correct. What is needed in this gap is some kind of object pronoun, such as 'her'.

Best regards,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir,
It is stated above that "I am a friend of Susan's" is correct sentence. Could you please explain how the meaning is changed when we use just 'Susan' instead of 'Susan's' in that sentence?

Hello Advertgrwl,

Saying 'I am a friend of Susan' is not correct in standard English - it's simply something native speakers don't say.

It might help to think of 'I'm a friend of Susan's' as a shorter way of saying 'I'm a friend of Susan's many friends'.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

i got full marks....i'm very happy......

Hello everybody :),

I would like to ask you about the "double possessive" that is when two possessives (a determiner/demonstrative + a possessive pronuon) refer to the same noun as in:
That friend of yours.
That idea of Bob's.

I've been told that this construction could be often used with a derogatory meaning. Is that true? And if so, how do we distinguish the pejorative note in those phrases? Through the context/the speaker's voice?

And, on the same topic, I've read that there is a nuance in meaning between, for example:
1) What promise is it of yours? And
2) What is this promise of yours?

The first being some sort of rhetorical question meaning "what ever/on earth is this promise you've made"?, while the second is a more direct question meaning "what have you promised"? "what promise have you made"?
Is it correct or perhaps is it the other way round?

I'd really appreciate your answering my questions.

Thanks a lot in advance.

Hi Knightrider,

I can't think of any special use of the double possessive with a derogatory meaning. Depending on the intonation, it certainly could be used to communicate this, but as far as I can think, it doesn't have anything to do with the double possessive structure itself.

Similarly, 'what promise is it of yours?' sounds quite odd, even non-standard, to me. Perhaps if I saw it in context it would sound more natural to me. The second question there is grammatically correct and means what you indicate in your last full paragraph.

I hope this helps you.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team