There are two types of possessives which are determined by their function in the sentence.
Note: We only use the possessive pronoun “its” with the adjective “own”.
|mine||This book is mine.|
|yours||Is this book yours?|
|his||This bicycle is his.|
|hers||The dress is hers.|
|its||The house is its [the cat’s].|
|ours||The suitcases are ours.|
|yours||These seats are yours.|
|theirs||This pencil is theirs.|
Possessive determiners and pronouns vary according to the possessor and not to whether the object is in singular or plural, as in some other languages such as Spanish.
1. The possessive as determiner
These pronouns function as the determinative article of the noun that they accompany and therefore precede the object.
2. The possessive as pronoun
In this case, the possessive pronoun acts as a direct complement.
Note: These examples respond to the question,“Whose is this?”.
Possessive Pronouns vs. the Genitive Case
The “-’s” termination which indicates the genitive is not to be confused with the possessive determiners. As such, we can say: :
In both cases we are expressing a possession and a possessor; in this case, the dress. In the first sentence, the possessive determiner “her” indicates that both the speaker and the listener know who is being referred to; whereas in the second sentence, the speaker wants to acknowledge the name of the possessor.
1. We always use the genitive to refer to people.
2. When we want to make reference to places or things we use the preposition “of”:
3. We can also use the genitive at the end of a sentence when it is used in response to a prior question. In this case, we do not need to use the noun.
4. When there is more than one possessor, the apostrophe comes after the “s”.