Possessive Adjectives

English Grammar Rules

Possessive adjectives are used to show possession or ownership of something. While we use them when we refer to people, it is more in the sense of relationship than ownership.

The possessive adjectives in English are as follows:

Subject Possessive
Adjective
I My
You Your
He His
She Her
It Its
We Our
You (pl) Your
They Their

The possessive adjective needs to agree with the possessor and not with the thing that is possessed.

Examples

  • My car is very old.
  • Her boyfriend is very friendly.
  • Our dog is black.
  • Their homework is on the table.

Like all adjectives in English, they are always located directly in front of the noun they refer to. (Possessive Adjective + Noun)

We do not include an S to the adjective when the noun is plural like in many other languages.

Examples:

  • Our cars are expensive. (Correct)
    Ours cars are expensive. (Incorrect)

However, the verb that is used needs to be in agreement with the noun - if the noun is singular then the verb is singular; if the noun is plural then the verb is plural.

Examples:

  • My pen is black. (Singular)
    My pens are black. (Plural)
  • Our child is intelligent. (Singular)
    Our children are intelligent. (Plural)

Its vs. It's

Be careful not to confuse its and it's.

Its = The possessive adjective for It.
It's = a contraction of it is.




Next activity

Try our interactive games to practice Possessive Adjectives

See our grammar notes about Possessive Pronouns.


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Last Updated: 02 December 2014
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