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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 rajrani17,

Without knowing the context, it looks OK to me.

All the best,


The LearnEnglish Team

Which one is correct and why? - "Government are the servant of mankind." or "Government are the servant of mankind's"


Neither is correct. In this context, government as a general concept would be singular (Government is...). As far as the rest goes, the first is the correct option. Although the 's form is in some contexts, especially with names, it is actually grammatically illogical and it is not used in a context such as this.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter,

"Government is very unpredictable. They are always changing their minds."

Is this sentence correct?

Hello again CHÉKYTAN,

In this example the context is different. Here, you are presumably talking about a particular government rather than about the concept of government in general. Thus, here we would use 'the;:

The government is...

The rest of the sentence is fine.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. I have a question. Please, help me understand this. I am confused.
Which one is correct?

a) A crocodile is a predator that lives in tropic rivers, and its bite can kill many animals.
b) A crocodile is a predator that lives in tropic rivers, and whose bite can kill many animals.

This kind of variants was in an English test. I chose the answer "a", because "its" is a possessive adjective for animals and things.
But the examiner insisted on the answer "b".

I thought "whose" used only for people to express things that belong to them.

Hello Grammarfan07,

Both options are grammatically possible, though I would say the second sentence does not need the word 'and'. Also, the correct adjective here would be 'tropical' rather than 'tropic'.



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much Peter. Now I understand that both options are grammatically correct or possible as you say.

Unfortunately, there are English teachers from Nigeria in Kyrgyzstan. They cheat on with tests answers as they think native citizens are not able to notice it.

Hi, can I use an possessive adjective followed by an apostrophe. For example: Her friends’ coats or her friends coats?

Hello Phan Hang,

Yes, you can certainly use an apostrophe like that.

Her friends' coats is perfectly fine.



The LearnEnglish Team