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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

GapFillTyping_MTYxNTc

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

GapFillTyping_MTYxNTg

 

Comments

Hi there,

Please help me identify which sentence is correct and why.

Q1
a- I spent my weekend with Mr. Smith's family
b- I spent my weekend with Mr. Smiths' family

Q2. a- This is my neighbor's car
b- This is my neighbors' car

I was also wondering if it sounds good to say "This is book is my brother's"

Thanks for your great help.

Hi Maahir,

Good question! Here is the explanation.

Put the apostrophe after 's' if the noun already ends in 's'. This includes most plural nouns, and some singular nouns too. For example:

  • my sisters' books (= the books that belong to my sisters, i.e. more than one sister)
  • James' books (= the books that belong to James)
  • the bus' wheels (= the wheels of the bus)

Otherwise, put the apostrophe before 's'. For example:

  • my sister's books (= the books that belong to my sister, i.e. only one sister)
  • Tim's books (= the books that belong to Tim)
  • the car's wheels (= the wheels of the car)

 

So, for your Q1, the important question is: what is the man's name? If it is 'Mr Smith', option a is correct. If it is 'Mr Smiths', option b is correct. 'Smith' is a very common surname. 'Smiths' is less common, but it does exist.

For Q2, both options again are grammatically correct, but the question is: how many neighbours own this car? The answers mean the car belongs to (a) one neighbour, or (b) more than one neighbour.

Yes, you can say This book is my brother's :)

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

    Dear Jonathan R,

    Thanks for your very clear explanations.

    The questions were in the exercise. I clearly understood the use of the apostrophe for neighbor/neighbors. on other hand, since "Mr. Smiths" seems strange to me, I chose "Mr. Smith's Family" as the correct answer, but the system tells that it is not the correct answer.

    Hi Maahir,

    OK, I understand. I can't find those questions on this page. Can you let me know the page where you saw those questions, so that I can check them?

    Best wishes,

    Jonathan

    The LearnEnglish Team

    You can find them in the 1st exercise of Possessives: nouns

    Hi Maahir,

    OK, thanks, I've found them :)

    You can add an ‘s’ to a surname, to mean ‘all the people in that family’. For example:

    • The Simpsons = The Simpson family
    • The Smiths = The Smith family

    In that question, it says The party was organised by the Smith family. “The Smith family” = “The Smiths”, and to make it possessive, we add an apostrophe after ‘s’ (not before it, because it already ends in ‘s’). So, we can say:

    • It was the Smiths’ party.

    (It’s not correct to say “It was the Smith’s party” because the party was by the whole family, not just one person, and also the definite article isn’t used with surnames in the singular).

    Another option is to use the word ‘family’, and say It was the Smith family’s party. The meaning is the same. (Notice it’s not correct to say “the Smiths family” – with “family”, the surname should be in the singular).

    So, in sentence Q2 in your first message, you can say “I spent my weekend with Mr. Smith's family” or “I spent my weekend with the Smiths”.

    Does that make sense?

    Jonathan

    it's very clear.

    Thanks

    The mirror belongs to my sister.
    The mirror belongs to my sister's
    Are they both correct? or not? I feel like just the first one

    Hello Fanny.C,

    Yes, only the first one is correct. There is no need for a possessive form when we use 'belongs to'.

     

    Peter

    The LearnEnglish Team

    'Each member went to eat her favourite leaves and twigs'. Is it correct

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