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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

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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?

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Comments

Is the possessive s an adjective?

Hello Jenny,

Apostrophe + 's' in this case is a possessive determiner. It can show possession or other relationships. You can read more about it in the Wikipedia and on this page.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

So what you mean to say is, 'sports' here is an adjective and leisure activity is an adjective too!

I am still confused why is there an 's' in sports? Why it was not written 'sport'?

Why the writer had to separate it with 'and' then added the word 'leisure activity'?

Cycling is mainly a sports and leisure activity.

Please explain why is there an 'S' in 'sports.'
Is it as a plural or related to leisure and activity?

Hello Sad,

Speakers of American English tend to say 'sports' where speakers of British English would say 'sport', which I think might be way 'sports' is used in the sentence you refer to. Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Sad,

It's possible but it's not the form typically used. This holiday is usually referred to as Mother's Day

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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,
Kirk
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,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sad,

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

Best regards,
Kirk
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,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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