Possessive Adjectives

Showing Ownership

Possessive adjectives are used to show ownership.

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All Tenses

Possessive adjectives are similar to possessive pronouns, but possessive adjectives always come before a noun.

Possessive adjectives work as an adjective by modifying the noun.

These are the possessive adjectives and the subjects they represent:

Subject Possessive Adjective
I My
You (singular) Your
He His
She her
It Its
We Our
You (plural) Your
They their

Sentence structure

Possessive Adjective + Noun

When we talk about possessive adjectives, we say they show "ownership" for the subject.

"Ownership" in this form means that it belongs to that subject.

  • The tall woman is her mom.

    This sentence means that the tall woman belongs to her. She is the tall woman's daughter.

    The possessive adjective her modifies the noun mom.

  • Your car is small.

    This sentence says that the small car belongs to you or you own the small car.

    The possessive adjective your modifies the noun car.

small red car

1. My

The possessive adjective my shows ownership (possession) for the subject I.

  • My dog is brown.

    (I own the brown dog.)

  • That is my horse.

    (I own the horse.)

  • Please hand me my book.

    (The book belongs to me or I own the book.)
man with books

2. Your (singular and plural)

The possessive adjective your shows ownership (possession) for the subject you.

  • Is that your cat?

    (Does the cat belong to you? The cat is your possession.)

  • Please turn in your homework.

    (Turn in the homework that belongs to you.)

  • Don't be late for your interview.

    (The interview belongs to you.)
man at interview

3. His

The possessive adjective his shows ownership (possession) for the subject he.

  • He is traveling to see his sister.

    (She belongs to him/his family.)

  • His gift is on the table.

    (He owns the gift.)

  • He loves his job as a chef.

    (He has the job. The job belongs to him.)

4. Her

The possessive adjective her shows ownership (possession) for the subject she.

  • Her computer is broken.

    (She is the owner of the computer. It is her possession.)

  • She loves her husband.

    (Her husband belongs to her. She is his wife.)

  • Do you know her name?

    (The name belongs to her.)

5. Its

The possessive adjective its shows ownership (possession) for the subject it.

  • Its nest is made of twigs.

    (The nest belongs to it.)

  • Its tire is flat.

    (The tire is part of it [the bike, the car, the truck].)

  • The dog buried its bone in the yard.

    (The bone belongs to it/the dog.)
dog with bone

DO NOT use an apostrophe with this form of its.

It's = It + is

  • It's raining today.

    (It is raining today.)

  • Does she know if it's fixed now?

    (Does she know if it is fixed now?)
broken chair

6. Our

The possessive adjective our shows ownership (possession) for the subject we.

  • Our car is new.

    (We own the new car.)

  • Have you seen our children?

    (The children belong to us.)

  • Our chicken has laid an egg.

    (We own the chicken.)
chick and egg

7. Their

The possessive adjective their shows ownership (possession) for the subject they.

  • Their kitchen is clean.

    (They own the clean kitchen.)

  • They are finishing their chores.

    (The chores belong to them.)

  • Their turtle is a good pet.

    (They own the turtle.)

Possessive Pronouns

Do not confuse possessive adjectives with possessive pronouns.

Possessive pronouns show ownership.

They usually come after the noun or object.

The possessive pronouns are:
  • mine

  • yours (singular and plural)

  • his

  • hers

  • its

  • ours

  • theirs


  • The hat you found is mine.

    (I own the hat.)

  • That coat is yours.

    (You own the coat.)

  • The little boy is hers.

    (The little boy belongs to her. He is her son.)

  • The dog is theirs.

    (They own the dog.)

These were the uses of Possessive Adjectives. Now that you know them, it is time to practice: Illustrated Worksheet on Possessives Forms.


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