The possessive pronouns mine, yours, his, hers, ours, and theirs replace nouns to tell "whose."
- That's mine, not yours.
- His is green, and hers is yellow.
- Theirs are ready, so why aren't ours?
Notice that in each of the sentences above, the possessive pronoun replaces a noun and stands alone.
Possessive pronouns are not possessive adjectives, which are similar except that they come before a noun rather than replace it. These words are the possessive adjectives my, your, his, her, its, our, and their.
- Please don't put your feet on my desk.
- Her dog is wagging its tail.
Many people consider these words pronouns. Others see them as adjectives because they always come before nouns to modify them. What is important is using them correctly.
(in front of a noun)
- its (very seldom used)
Errors to Avoid
Possessive pronouns do not have apostrophes. The words yours, hers, its, and ours are already possessive.
- INCORRECT: I saw Dad's car but not your's.
- CORRECT: I saw Dad's car but not yours.
- INCORRECT: The decision is her's to make.
- CORRECT: The decision is hers to make.
Also, we must not confuse contractions and possessive adjectives.
- you're (you are)
- they're (they are)
- it's (it is)
Choose the correct word to complete each sentence.
- Is (your, you're) dog friendly?
- (Its, It's) teeth are showing.
- Is the beagle (your's, yours) also?
- This dog is bigger than (theirs, their's).
- Is that calico cat (hers, her's)?
- The Smiths are looking for (there's, their's, theirs).
- (There, Their, They're) cat bites and scratches people.
- My cat chases (it's, its) tail.
- The Smiths think that (there, their, they're) cat is prettier than mine.
- Does (your, you're) cat like fish?
- Is your dog friendly?
- Its teeth are showing.
- Is the beagle yours also?
- This dog is bigger than theirs.
- Is that calico cat hers?
- The Smiths are looking for theirs.
- Their cat bites and scratches people.
- My cat chases its tail.
- The Smiths think that their cat is prettier than mine.
- Does your cat like fish?