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English possessive adjectives

English possessive adjectives

by | 24 Nov 2018 | English Language


If you own –i.e. possess– something and want to say it, you can use a possessive adjective.


What is an adjective and what is more specifically a possessive adjective?

An adjective is a describing word that is used to describe a noun. For instance, if you have a black coat, black is the adjective: it describes your coat. A possessive adjective works in the same way: it goes with a noun to say who owns what is represented by the noun.

Let’s keep the example of the coat. If you are the owner of the coat, if the coat belongs to you, then you will say “It’s my coat”: coat is the noun, my is the possessive adjective. Remember that in English, adjectives are placed in front of the noun.

The choice of the possessive adjective depends on the ownernot what is possessed!– and matches a subject pronoun:


Subject pronoun Possessive adjective Example
I my This is my coat.
you your Don’t forget your bag!
he his He’s looking for his phone.
she her Her keys are on the table.
it its Its surface is smooth.
we our We bought our car last year.
they their Their house is lovely.


Careful! Don’t mix up :

Your (possessive adjective) ≠ you’re (contraction of “you are“) → You’re sitting on your book!

Its (possessive adjective) ≠ it’s (contraction of “it is”) → This table has a nice finish. Its surface is very smooth, it’s really nice

Their (possessive adjective) ≠ they’re (contraction of “they are” → They’re moving into their new house this weekend.


Are you ready to play? Try this drag the word activity. Try to do it as fast possible! ⌚ 



There you are, now you can use the English possessive adjectives correctly, congratulations! 🙂


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