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Possessive adjectives

What are possessive adjectives? They are my, your, his, her, its, our, your and their. We use possessive adjectives to show possession of something. The noun being possessed can be singular or plural. It’s not necessary to change the format of the possessive adjective.

My
  • This is a car. I like my car.
  • I have a book. Sam loves my book.
Your
  • You have a company. Your company is big.
  • This is a pen. Your pen is blue.
His
  • He has a new boat. His boat is big.
  • He has many friends. He likes his friends.
Her
  • She goes to school every day. Her school is close by.
  • She made a nice cake. Her cake is delicious.
Its
  • The cat has some food. Its food is nice.
  • It likes to visit us. Its visit was pleasurable.
Our
  • We threw the computer away. We threw our computer away.
  • We own two cars. We own our two cars.
Your
  • You dislike cell phones. You don’t like your cellphones.
  • You are a friend. Your friend is nice.
Their
  • They love big cities. Their city is big.
  • They are going to the ball. Their ball is going to see a big turn-out.

Essential English Grammar – A Friendly Approach

Lesson #26: Possessive adjectives

Explanation

We use possessive adjectives to show possession of something or someone. Possessive adjectives are: my, your, his, her, its, our, your (plural) and their. It’s not important if the thing or person being possessed is singular or plural, the possessive adjective stays the same, i.e., my cars, my car. Car can be singular or plural, yet the possessive adjective keeps its form.

Context
  • Morning Jake, is that your car?
  • Yep1, it sure is.
  • God2, she’s a beauty3. It looks like an electric one.
  • Yes, it is. It’s the new Tesla model, fully electric.
  • I wish it were4 my car…
  • Doesn’t your nephew own a Tesla?
  • Well, I’m not sure if it’s his5 Tesla, because I only saw him in the passenger seat. What do you think of electric cars anyway?
  • They’re very expensive cars and their6 auto-driving isn’t the most trustworthy, but in general they’re fantastic for the environment.
  • I agree. Your one7 though is the most expensive model though. Do you know if they sell cheaper ones?
  • Yes, I’m pretty sure they do because our neighbour, Phil, his car which is a Tesla is the model below our one8. So, that must mean that there are other models below and less expensive, and its9 battery lasts a long time.
  • I’ll look in to10 it then.
  • Great chatting to you. Catch you later11.
  • See you.
Analysis
  1. Yep: an informal way to say yes.
  2. God: even though this is a religious word it is used frequently as an interjection.
  3. Something is a beauty: ­this is an expression in English to signal that something is beautiful.
  4. ‘’I wish it were’’: even though it’s third person (it), the plural form is used were because we’re talking hypothetically, something that isn’t true.
  5. ‘’His Tesla’’: his is the possessive adjective and Tesla is the thing being possessed.
  6. Their: refers to the Tesla cars, that’s why it’s in plural and not singular his or her.
  7. Your one: one is a pronoun that can refer to anything singular. In this case, it refers to the Tesla car.
  8. Our one: one is the singular pronoun referring to the Tesla and our is used to show that it’s third person plural.
  9. Its battery:  the thing being possessed is the battery. It’s a thing so we need to use the possessive adjective its.
  10.  Look in to: a phrasal verb meaning to examine or look further.
  11.  Catch: (someone, i.e., him you, her) later – is a phrasal verb meaning to see someone at another time.

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