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How to Use Possessive Adjectives for English

The Explanation

Possessive adjectives are the words that modify a noun by showing a form of possession or a sense of belonging to a particular person or thing. In simple words, possessive adjectives are those which are used to show possession or ownership of something. Furthermore, the possessive adjective needs to agree with the possessor and not with the thing that is possessed.

Some of the most common possessive adjectives used in the English language include my, our, their, its, your, her, his, and whose (interrogative).


  • My house is very old. (In this sentence ‘my’ is used to express the ownership for the noun ‘house’)

  • Whose bag is this? (In this interrogative sentence, the word “whose” is used to express ownership for the noun “bag.”

  • My sister is here (in this example, the possessive adjective “my” indicates a close personal relationship with the noun “sister.”)

When to use Possessive Adjective

Below are some of the conditions, we use possessive adjectives in-

1. Possessive Adjective is used to show something belongs to somebody


  • That’s our car.

  • My house is pretty old.

2. Possessive Adjective is used to demonstrate relations and friends


  • My father is a pilot

  • How old is your bike?

3. Possessive Adjective is used to demonstrate the parts of the body


  • She’s washing her hair.

  • I need to clean my hands

How to form the Possessive Adjectives

Similar to all the adjectives in English, the possessive adjectives are formed by always being used directly in front of the noun they refer to i.e. Possessive Adjective + Noun

  1. Possessive adjectives are different from possessive pronouns and their usage differs accordingly


  • This is your bag (possessive adjective)

  • And this is mine (possessive pronoun)

2. ‘its’, ‘their’ are possessive adjectives and should be used accordingly


  • Its color is beautiful

  • Their car is in their garage.

  1. ‘it's’, ‘they're’ and ‘there’ are not the possessive adjectives and are used as below-

  • ‘its’ is a contraction of ‘it is’ or ‘it has’

  • ‘they're’ is a contraction of ‘they are’

  • There’ is an adverb of place.


  • It's not my dress = It is not my dress

  • Jill and Jane are from Australia. They're my neighbors = they are my neighbors.

  • Please, put the books there. (adverb)

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