Possessive Pronouns: Rules and Examples
Possessive pronouns show that something belongs to someone. The possessive pronouns are my, our, your, his, her, its, and their. There’s also an “independent” form of each of these pronouns: mine, ours, yours, his, hers, its, and theirs. Possessive pronouns are never spelled with apostrophes.
Possessive pronouns simplify constructions that show possession of a noun.
It sounds odd to use Jane’s name twice in this sentence. A possessive pronoun solves the problem:
Thus, possessive pronouns are quite handy and are used frequently in the English language.
Independent Possessive Pronouns
Independent possessive pronouns (also called absolute possessive pronouns) must be used without a noun.
As you can see, it is common to see independent possessive pronouns at the ends of clauses or phrases.
A Common Mistake: Its vs. It’s
A very common error is putting an apostrophe in the possessive pronoun its. It is easy to confuse its with the contraction of it is, it’s, which does have an apostrophe. Remember, though, possessive pronouns never use apostrophes.
If you think about the rules for possessive pronouns for a split second every time you write its or it’s, you will never make this mistake again.