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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 poinsettia.noel,

Yes, it is right to say "...a friend of Susan's". You can also say "...a friend of Susan" but this is becoming increasingly unusual

This is an example of how common use can sometimes go against a particular grammar pattern, creating a form which is logically 'incorrect'. The rules of language are ultimately descriptive, not prescriptive. In other words, grammar describes language as it is used, not as someone would like it to be used. When a form becomes standard use it is the correct form, even if it is odd, inconsistent with other forms or illogical.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Sir, A king took sonu's bag and gave him his own bag. Now I think here 'his own bag' refers to The king's own bag doesn't it ? and is it necessary to put 'own' in this sentence ?

hey guys !!!
I was wondering how is the possessive pronoun "its" used.
Thanks in advance

Hi Arun Sooknarine,

We use the pronoun its in the same way we use hers or his, with the difference that we use its when we are describing something which is not a person. However, it is quite rare as in many contexts it can be ambiguous, and so we usually prefer to use the noun rather than this particular pronoun. We also tend to avoid the possessive pronoun its at the end of a sentence.

It is possible to come up with examples. Imagine you are looking at a friend's car. You might say My car's colour is ugly but its is quite nice.

Even this example is rather awkward in my view and 'this one's' would be preferable. It is grammatically correct to use its here, however.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello everybody
I have a question on possessive noun.

Anybody please offer me their feedback on the correctness or wrongness of the following sentence:
" This is Samantha's new car which is bought by hers elder son Matthew , after his marriage"
please feel free to inform any kind of mistake in the above sentence, but i am specifically interested to know that "is it correct to use HERS ELDER SON MATTHEW instead of HER ELDER SON MATTHEW "



Hello davidChoubey,

The correct form here is 'her' not 'hers'. We do not use possessive pronouns (like 'hers') before nouns. You can read more about this here and here.

I think a past form would be required here as well, making the correct sentence

This is Samantha's new car which wass bought by hers elder son Matthew after his marriage.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Caveat typo.... "was" , and, "her elder son", I think you mean!!

This is Samantha's new car which was bought by her elder son Matthew after his marriage.

CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY: We can use 'own' as a pronoun after a possessive determiner (e.g. my, his, their). We often use it in the pattern noun + of + possessive determiner + own:
eg 'Did you have a flat- of your own- when you were a student, or did you share?'


I'm afraid we don't comment on what other grammars or books say, but I can confirm that 'own' can indeed act as a pronoun in some cases. For example, imagine you offer to lend me your car to go to work, since mine isn't working very well. I could say, 'No, thanks. I'll go in my own.'

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk
Sorry for my mistake. Thank you very much for your advice. It made things clearer.
Thanks Aitkins