This Lesson Is All Yours: Possessive Pronouns

Contributor: Allison Crews. Lesson ID: 13673

Pronouns are important sentence parts, and there are multiple types. This lesson will teach you all about the possessive form.


Grammar, Writing

English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Think fast!

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Write one sentence using the word your and another sentence using the word yours.

  • What is the difference in how these words function in each sentence?

Here are some possible example sentences using your and yours:

I returned your shovel last night.

In this sentence, your is a modifier. It is modifying shovel, adding a descriptor that specifies a specific shovel.

Yours are the finest biscuits I've ever tasted.

In this sentence, yours is the subject of the sentence, but it is also showing possession. The biscuits (object of the sentence) are made by the you of the sentence. They belong to the subject, making it possessive.

What Are Possessive Pronouns?

Pronouns are sentence parts that replace nouns or noun phrases that have been referenced elsewhere in the text. Possessive pronouns serve that same function, but they also show possession.

Typically when you form a possessive, you add something to the noun.

  • What do you normally add?

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When you make a noun possessive, you typically add 's to the noun. But take a look at these possessive pronouns:

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  • What do you not see?

With possessive pronouns, you never use an apostrophe. These words are already indicators of possession on their own, so no additions are necessary.

Adjectives vs. Pronouns

In the example above with your and yours, the possessive words serve two different purposes. As explained, one was acting as a modifier and one as a noun.

You want to be careful when showing possession to not get possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns confused.

Here is a helpful chart:

pronoun chart

When the possessive word is modifying another noun, it is a possessive adjective. When it acts as a noun, it is a possessive pronoun.

See if you can identify adjectives vs. pronouns in a couple of example sentences:

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  • How did you do?
  • Are possessive pronouns making sense so far?

It can get tricky when dealing with compound possessive nouns and pronouns.

Click through to the Got It? section to make sense of one of the more confusing grammatical constructions.

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