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Possessive Adjectives

Formation and Usage of Possessive Adjectives

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Possessive adjectives are used to show ownership of an item or an idea. Possessive adjectives are very similar to possessive pronouns and the two are often confused. Take a look at these examples of possessive adjectives immediately followed by possessive pronouns used in a similar sense.

Possessive Adjective Examples

My dog is very friendly.
Her book is red.
Our house is painted yellow.

Possessive Pronouns Examples

That friendly dog is mine.
The red book is hers.
That yellow house is ours.

If you are unsure focus on the placement of possessive adjectives which are placed directly before the noun they modify.

Possessive Adjectives Usage

Possessive adjectives are used when the reference to which person or thing is understood. For example:

Jack lives on this street. His house is over there.

The possessive adjective 'his' refers to Jack because of the context. Remember that possessive adjectives come in front of the noun they modify. Here is a list of possessive adjectives:

I - my car
You - your dog
He - his boat
She - her family
It - its fabric(NOT it's!)
We - our class
You - your jobs
They - their toys

Examples

I took my daughter to the movies.
Where is your house?
I picked up his book yesterday.
That's her car over there.
Its color is red!
Our company is doing very well.
Your bicycles are located in the basement.
Their toys are in the closet.

Possessive Adjective Checklist

  • Possessive adjectives are used in place of proper names
  • Place adjectives directly before the noun they modify
  • Possessive adjectives are very similar in usage to possessive pronouns
  • Possessive adjectives are used when the context is clear who is in possession of an object
  • Note the similarity in form between possessive adjectives and pronouns

Use these resources for more detailed information on other possessive forms:

Possessive Nouns - For example, John's house, the bicycle's color, etc.
Possessive Pronouns - For example, that is mine, this is hers, etc.

This general guide to possessive forms quickly compares all three types of possessive forms.

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