Possessive case of Personal pronouns

Possessive Cases of most of the Personal Pronouns have two forms:

  • Possessive Adjectives

  • Possessive Pronouns

Possessive Adjectives Vs Possessive Pronouns

‘His’ is used as both Possessive Adjective and Possessive Pronoun.

This is his bike. (Possessive Adjective)
This bike is his. (Possessive Pronoun)

‘Her’ is used as both Objective case and Possessive Adjective.

I gave my bike to her. (Objective case)
This is her bike. (Possessive Adjective)

‘Its’ is used as Possessive Adjective but not as Possessive Pronoun.

Possessive Adjectives

Possessive adjectives are used to show possession/relation.

my, our, your, his, her, its, their – they are Possessive adjectives because they come with a noun and modify them.

This is my bike.
Those are your bikes.
That is her bike.

As Possessive adjectives are formed from Pronouns, so these are also called as Pronominal adjectives.

Possessive Pronouns

Just like Possessive adjectives, Possessive pronouns also show possession.

E.g. mine, ours, yours, his, hers, theirs

This bag is mine.
Those balls are yours.

Possessive Adjectives Vs. Possessive Pronouns

You will notice that Possessive pronoun is nothing but : Possessive Adjective + Noun

E.g. my + noun → mine ; our + noun → ours
your + noun → yours
his + noun → his ; her + noun → hers
their + noun → theirs

Possessive adjective is always followed by noun or noun equivalent. It is never used without a noun.

On the other hand, Possessive pronoun can never qualify a noun (as possessive pronoun is already used in place of a noun). We will use possessive pronoun in a sentence if the noun has already been discussed in the sentence (to avoid repetition).

This book is my. (incorrect; my – possessive adjective, but not followed by a noun)
This is my book. (correct; my – possessive adjective, followed by a noun ‘book’)
This book is mine. (correct; mine – possessive pronoun)

Your brother is an inspector but mine brother is a minister. (incorrect; mine – possessive pronoun, cannot qualify a noun)
Your brother is an inspector but mine is a minister. (correct)
Your brother is an inspector but my brother is a minister. (correct)

Some books refer both Possessive Adjectives and Possessive Pronouns as Possessive Pronouns only. As per them, there are two types of Possessive Pronouns:

  • Dependent form of Possessive Pronouns, i.e. those Possessive pronouns that need a noun.
  • Independent form of Possessive Pronouns, i.e. those Possessive pronouns that do not need a noun.

Concept 1: Apostrophe

In Possessive Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives, apostrophe is not used before ‘s’.

It is incorrect to use - your’s, her’s, etc.

For example:
The leopard had a thorn in it’s foot. (incorrect; it’s is equivalent to ‘it is’)
The leopard had a thorn in its foot. (correct)

Concept 2: Use with to-infinitive

We can use either ‘$V_{ing}$’ or ‘to + $V_1$’ after objective case of pronoun.

He forced me to leave.
They requested her to sing. (here, ‘her’ is in objective case, and not a possessive adjective.)
They wanted to hear him singing.

But we do not use ‘to + $V_1$’ after possessive adjectives.

Concept 3

We do not use possessive pronouns or possessive adjectives with separation, leave, excuse, mention, report, pardon, sight, favour.

His separation is very painful to me. (incorrect)
Separation from him is very painful to me. (correct)

We need your favour. (incorrect)
We need a favour from you. (correct)

Possessive pronouns as various parts of a sentence

Possessive pronoun can work as:

  • a subject:
    Your life is good but hers is better.
    My bike is a Harley, but his is a Triumph.

  • an object:
    She broke my heart so I broke hers.

  • a subjective complement:
    This country is mine.

Extra Books and Tools

Though the matter on our website is in-depth and comprehensive enough for the demands of most of the aptitude exams, but it may feel daunting for the same reasons. Moreover, some learners prefer paperback books over websites.

So, if you are a beginner level English learner, and prefer books, you may explore the following English Grammar books too.

1. Wren & Martin - This book has been around for long and is still considered one of the best. Though many concepts have not been dealt with in much depth here, but beginners may find it a breeze to read. Once you are done with it, the content on our website will work as a rich add-on. If you are getting this book, make sure you get the key to its exercises too.

Links for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries:

High School English Grammar and Composition Paperback

Key to Wren and Martin

Link for Indian readers: Wren and Martin

2. More advanced learners may refer to the following books. However, buy them only if you must. Most of your English Grammar learning needs will easily be met by our website.

A. Essential English Grammar by Raymond Murphy

Link for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries: Essential Grammar in Use - with Answers

Link for Indian readers: Essential English Grammar

B. Intermediate English Grammar by Raymond Murphy

Link for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries: English Grammar in Use - with Answers

Link for Indian readers: Intermediate English Grammar

C. Advanced English Grammar by Martin Hewings

Link for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries: Advanced Grammar in Use - with Answers

Link for Indian readers: Advanced English Grammar

So much so for Englsh Grammar. But what about Comprehension skills and Vocabulary?

We strongly believe that Comprehension skills and Vocabulary are more a matter of practice. The more you read, the better you will become in them. In fact, this will help you in Grammar too. Afterall Grammar rules are just in the nature of temporary scaffholding - the goal is to read, write and speak a language without consciously remembering even a single Grammar rule.

So, we suggest you to read vividly. Ideally, carry some tool with you that you may refer so as to learn the meaning of any word that is new to you. There are many ways you may go about it.

* The old method: Carry a good dictionary with you. But who does?

* Download a Thesauraus app on your mobile or just google it. Better, but we still need to stop reading, open the app, type and then search. Boring!

The methods mentioned above kill the joy of reading. Who wants to stop reading in the midst of an interesting plot and look for the meaning of a word? And if you are a lazy soul like me, Oh man! No chance!

That's why I prefer to read on gadgets like Kindle. We may just tap on any word and see its meaning there and then. It's also not taxing on the eyes.

Link for readers from USA, UK, Canada, and other countries:

Link for Indian readers:

There are a multitude of Kindle models and versions available. So, you may have to do some research on your own regarding which model serves your need the best. Though, any model will meet our basic reading needs.

If you guys know about any more such books, gadgets and technologies that are awesome and may help English learners, do share 😇
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