We use possessive pronouns to refer to a specific person/people or thing/things that belong to a person/people. The key is that possessive pronouns replace nouns. They are different from possessive adjectives (my, your, his, her, its, our, their), which modify nouns.
Here’s a helpful chart of possessive pronouns from EnglishClub:
Here are some example sentences that go with the possessive pronouns above. (Remember: possessive pronouns replace nouns.)
- Your books are very clean. Mine are dirty. (Mine = my books)
- No offense, but my dog is smarter than yours. (Yours = your dog.)
- Peter and his aunt both wrote stories. His is better than hers. (His = Peter’s story; hers = his aunt’s story)
- Nan liked her sandwich, but Henry didn’t enjoy his. (His = his sandwich)
- Their hotel room is on the first floor; where is ours? (Ours = our hotel room)
- Don’t be mad that our team beat yours 49–7. (Yours = your team)
- Our answers are right; theirs are wrong. (Theirs = their answers)
It’s important to point out that not a single one of the possessive pronouns uses an apostrophe.
We’re almost done.
There is one pronoun missing from the above list: whose. Although whose is usually used in asking questions, it can also function as a possessive pronoun:
- Henry and Peter found a brand new copy of Final Fantasy X on the floor and wondered whose it was.
- I love that voice! Whose is it?