A possessive pronoun is a part of speech that takes the place of a noun to show possession or ownership, indicating that something belongs to someone. Possessive pronouns are possessive forms of personal pronouns (he, she, they, etc.).
Writers typically use possessive pronouns to replace a noun phrase, allowing them to prevent the repetition of a noun within a sentence:
Although including an apostrophe "s" shows possession with nouns (possessive nouns), possessive pronouns should not include an apostrophe.
Independent possessive pronouns, also known as absolute possessive pronouns, are used to reference an established noun (antecedent) within a sentence.
Independent possessive pronouns (hers, his, mine) are positioned after a noun in a sentence or clause, whereas dependent pronouns (her, my, our) are placed before a noun.
Since they reference an already identified noun, independent possessive pronouns typically are positioned toward the end of a sentence or clause. These pronouns cannot precede a noun.
Independent possessive pronouns include the following:
The brown cat is ours.
The house on the left is theirs.
Dependent possessive pronouns (also known as possessive determiners, possessive adjectives, and weak possessive pronouns) also replace nouns and indicate ownership or a relationship.
Unlike their independent counterpart, dependent possessive pronouns are placed before the noun, as they function as adjectives. Its purpose is to show ownership between a person and the noun placed after the pronoun.
Dependent possessive pronouns include the following:
My fence is white.
His house is made of brick.
The following identify examples of independent and dependent possessive pronouns.
Independent possessive pronoun examples:
Dependent possessive pronoun example sentences:
Learn about other English grammar terms like subject pronouns, object pronouns, and adverbs.
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