ENG2: Possessives

This unit explores the possessives; adjectives and pronouns and how they are used in English grammar.

We add ‘s to singular nouns to show possession:

We are having a party at John’s house.
Michael drove his friend’s car.

We add  to plural nouns ending in -s:

This is my parents’ house.
Those are ladies’ shoes.

But we use ‘s with irregular plural nouns:


These are men’s shoes.
Children’s clothes are very expensive.

We can use a possessive instead of a full noun phrase to avoid repeating words:

Is that John’s car?
No, it’s Mary’s. (NOT No, it’s Mary’s [car].)

Whose coat is this?
It’s my wife’s.
 (NOT It’s my wife’s [coat].)

Level: beginner

SubjectObjectPossessive adjectivePossessive pronoun
Ime mymine
hehim hishis
sheher herhers
weus ourours
theythem theirtheirs


Be careful!
Possessive pronouns do not have an apostrophe:

Is that car yours/hers/ours/theirs?
(NOT Is that car your’s/her’s/our’s/their’s?)

We can use a possessive pronoun instead of a full noun phrase to avoid repeating words:

Is that John’s car?
No, it’s mine.
 (NOT No, it’s [my car].)

Whose coat is this?
Is it yours? (NOT Is it [your coat]?)

Her coat is grey.
Mine is brown. (NOT [My coat] is brown.)

Image result for possessives

Possessives: pronouns 1

Level: intermediate

We can use possessive pronouns and nouns after of. We can say:

Susan is one of my friends. > Susan is a friend of mine.
(NOT Susan is a friend of me.)

I am one of Susan’s friends. > I am a friend of Susan’s.
(NOT I am a friend of Susan.)

Level: intermediate

When two or more people do the same thing, we can use the possessive forms of the reciprocal pronouns each other’s and one another’s:

They helped to look after each other’s children.

Level: beginner

We use whose to ask questions about possession:

Pattern APattern B
Whose coat is this?orWhose is this coat?
Whose book is that?orWhose is that book?
Whose pens are those?orWhose are those pens?
Whose bags are those?orWhose are those bags?


Be careful!
Be careful not to confuse whose and who’s (= who is). They are pronounced in the same way but spelled differently:

Whose coat is this?
Who’s (= Who is) Stefan?

ASSIGNMENT : ENG2: Possessives Assignment MARKS : 20  DURATION : 3 days

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