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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


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?



Hello teachers,
I read on e newspaper "...that both children parents and children were more prone to burnout."
Would you please explain, why it read "children parents" instead of "children's parents". Are they actually the same? If different, what is the difference?
Thank you, sir

Hello Risa warysha,

The sentence is incorrect. As you say, the correct form would be children's parents.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi team,
I want to learn one more thing.
I realised something about the verb phrase 'shake hand' during reading a text and I was confused about one thing.

For example in this sentence ,
'I shaked hand when we met.'

I think the sentence should be like
'I shaked his hand....'
Could you please explain me which one is true?
Thank you

Hi Nevı,

You're right, it should be I shaked his hand.


The LearnEnglish Team

Teacher, I saw some sentences like:
'I shaked hands with him.'

Is it the same like 'I shaked his hand' ?

Hi Nevı,

Yes, the meaning is similar, and in many situations both would be fine to use! But there's a slight difference:

  • If I say I shaked his hand, it seems like I started the action, or I was shaking more forcefully than him.
  • If I say I shaked hands with him, it seems like the handshake was more equal. I could also say We shook hands to show this 'equality' more strongly.

Also, I should also mention that nowadays, it's very common to use shook as the past simple of the verb shake (instead of shaked).


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi guys,
I want to learn one more thing about 'whose'.I haven't seen using of non-defining relative pronoun 'whose' in sentence like that:

"I talked Ellen, whose party it was, and then I.."
It looks strange to me, 'it' is used after party and there is no word after"was"!?

Could you explain why it was different? I always see 'whose' in sentences like
'She doesn't like him whose car is Ferrari"

Hello teacher.
I have an example :
The bird is standing on the branch, the big nest nearby is its.
Is above sentence correct ?
"Its" is possessive adjective or possessive pronoun or both of them ?
Thanks !

Hi Jack,

It's a good question! Its is an adjective, but not a pronoun (see the full list on our Possessive pronouns page). So, in this sentence, I'd add a noun, for example:

  • The big nest nearby is its nest.
  • Its nest is the big one nearby.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, in a sentence : The dog eat its bone.
The possessive adjetive "its" include two meanings :
The dog's bone and the bone people give. Is it correst, teacher ?