Possessive Pronouns and Determiners in English Grammar

Introduction

Possessive pronouns indicate possession or belonging. There are two kinds of possessive pronouns in English grammar. Possessive determiners, also called possessive adjectives (my/your etc.), come before a noun, whereas, possessive pronouns (mine/yours etc.) replace a noun.

Learn the difference between possessive determiners and possessive pronouns in English grammar and get tips on when to use them. Practise using the grammar rules in the interactive exercises.

Example

My name’s Polly and I’m looking for my hat. My dad says there’s one in the wardrobe, but it’s his, not mine. My mum has also got a hat. Look! The dog’s wearing hers.

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Usage

We use possessive determiners with nouns to indicate possession. Possessive pronouns replace previously mentioned nouns.

Example:
My name is Polly and I am looking for my hat. (Polly’s name/hat) – determiner
This one is not mine. (Polly’s hat) – pronoun

Table of English Possessive Pronouns and Determiners

Possessive determiners accompany a noun (the thing being possessed), possessive pronouns replace it. The chart below shows an overview of possessive pronouns and determiners in singular and plural.

singularplural
1st person2nd person3rd person1st person2nd person3rd person
determiner my your his her its our your their
pronoun mine yours his hers its ours yours theirs
  • Determiners come before a noun.
    Example:
    I am looking for my hat.
    My mum has also got a hat.
  • Pronouns are used alone, without a noun.
    Example:
    My dad says there is one in the wardrobe, but it’s his, not mine.
    My mum has also got a hat. Look! The dog is wearing hers.