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Possessive Determiners Personal Pronouns

Indicating Ownership

Dog walker
 

 

Pronouns

POSSESSIVE DETERMINER

Use a subject pronoun with have in a simple statement of possession or ownership.  Use a possessive pronoun to express possession or ownership.

We have a dog. Our dog is very clever.

Lea has a chihuahua. Her chihuahua is tiny.

Sammy has a golden retriever. His golden retriever hunts ducks.

My sisters are raising a poodle. Their poodle is doing calculus.

I have a dachshund.  My dachshund is always eating.

The dog has a bed. Its/her/his bed is over there.

POSSESSIVE PRONOUN

Use a posessive subject pronoun to shorten a pronoun phrase when the item of possession has already been mentioned.

Ours is very clever.   (our dog)

Hers is tiny.  (her chihuahua)

His is a duck hunter.  (his golden retriever)

Theirs is doing calculus.  (their poodle)

Mine is always eating. (my dachshund)

Its/Hers/His is over there. (its bed)

 

 

More Info - Personal Pronouns

 

 

Possessive Pronouns

Determiners / Pronouns

 

 

Determiners and Pronouns

POSSESSIVE DETERMINERS

The following words are possessive determiners.  We cannot use an article with any of them.

SINGULAR  

My dog
Your
dog
Her
dog
His
dog
Its dog  (a car's)
 



behaves well.

Plural  

Our dog
Your
dog
Their dog
   



behaves well.

POSSESSIVE PRONOUNS

The following words are possessive pronouns. Each word takes the place of the possessive determiner + the noun.

SINGULAR  

Mine
Yours
Hers
His
Its
 
 



behaves well.

Plural  

Ours
Yours
Theirs
   



behaves well.

 

behave (v.) – follow commands, orders, rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impersonal Pronouns

You, One & They

 

 

One, You & They

SUBJECT PRONOUN POSSESSIVE POSSESSIVE SUBJECT PRONOUN
ONE    

One is often used in general statements when we are talking about anyone, at any time. One includes the speaker and the listener.  It is more formal than you

One  should exercise one's dog.

One's dog should get plenty of exercise.

*One's should get plenty of exercise.   Not used

In ancient times, one believed in dog-spirits. (Use people. This is in a time before the speaker's.) 

 

 

YOU    

You is often used in general statements when we are talking about anyone, at any time. You is directed to the listener. It does not include the speaker. You as an impersonal pronoun is informal.

You should exercise your dog.

Your dog should get plenty of exercise.

Yours should get plenty of exercise.  This pronoun becomes specific and is not understood as a generalization.

In ancient times, you believed in dog-spirits. (Use people.This is in a time before the speaker or listener.)  

 

 

THEY    

They is used to make general statements about somewhere else. It refers to a vague group in another place, neighborhood (others), or to the authorities in charge.

They don't like dogs there.  

Their dislike of dogs is unusual.

Theirs is unusual.  (Requires context to understand.)

They say it will rain tomorrow. (expression)

Their prediction is for rain tomorrow.

Theirs is for rain.  Mine is for "clear skies".

They are raising taxes.
In ancient times, they believed in dog-spirits.

Their tax-hike is unacceptable.  (hike - rise)

Theirs is unacceptable.

*Yellow highlighted words are examples of incorrect usage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Possessive Pronoun Agreement

Indefinite & Possessive

Naughty Dog

 

 

 

 

Possessive Pronoun Agreement with Indefinite Pronouns

INDEFINTE PRONOUN—SINGULAR PRONOUN

The singular indefinite pronoun agrees with the personal pronoun (when referring to itself.)

mover overpronoun refers to possessive
Every dog owner has his dog leash.

Each dog has his collar on.

One doglost her collar.

Each dog wore his identification tags.

*None comes without its/her/his owner.

*Everyonehas his/her clean-up bag ready.

QUANTITY EXPRESSION—PLURAL PRONOUN

The closest noun in the quantifier phrase agrees with the personal pronoun (when referring to itself.) 

mover overpronoun refers to possessive
All of
  the owners bring water for their (own) dogs.

Some of us bring our lunches with us.

Half of you let your dogs bark.

Ten percent the owners play ball with their dogs.

None of the owners leave their trash on the beach.

A number of owners surf with their dogs.

 

* A plural pronoun (their) occurs in informal English.
Related pages: Pronoun agreement with quantifier phrases

 

 

 

Double Possessives

I, Me or My?

Ali and I

 

 

 

Double Possessive Pronoun Confusion

COMMON ERROR

Use I in the subject position. When mentioning more than one person, mention I last (as a courtesy to others mentioned.)  

* Me and Ali's relationship is getting stronger. me used as a subject?

*Ali and I's relationship is getting stronger.  I's used as a possessive pronoun?

*My and Ali's relationship is getting stronger. Use one possessive for the pair of names.
 

SOLUTION

Don't use me in the subject position. (This is a common native-English speaker error.) If both people share the same item, then only the second name in the pair is possessive.

My relationship is getting stronger.
Ali's relationship is getting stronger.

Ali and my relationship is getting stronger.
(One possessive — one shared relationship.)

Ali's and my relationships are (both) getting stronger.
(Two possessives — two different relationships.)

 

Related page: Double Pronouns 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

Tesla

 

Common Mistakes

ERROR

*The attraction of this car is it's sexy, sports-car design.    Pop-Q "Its"

With it's $110,000 price tag, the Tesla drives like a high-performance sport car.

SOLUTION

The attraction of this car is its sexy, sports-car design.
Pronoun →
its;  Contraction it + is → it's

With Tesla's $110,000 price tag, it drives like ... Place the pronoun after the noun it refers to.

 

See Pronoun Placement (antecedents) 

 

 

 

dogPractice 1

Indicating ownership or possession

 

 

Pet Owners

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

1.
labrador retriever – a type of dog 

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is the smartest cat I have ever seen.

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keyboardPractice2

Pronoun Agreement with Indefinite Pronouns and Quantity Phrases

 

 

Computer Users

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check".

Review Quantity Phrases if needed.

 

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   Just step away from the computer!

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

Dog Blog

Dog Beachleash

 

 

 

 

Read for errors

Carmel by the Sea is a dogs dream.  Dogs can run to its heart's content on its beautiful, white, sandy, mile-long beach. Here, the residents truly believe that dogs are best friend. No leash is required. 

Dogs freely socialize with other dogs or play fetch with they toys in the surf.  The dogs tails wag high in the air, and there noses sniff the ocean air. Pet owners come from miles around for long, dog-tiring walks on this beach.

heart's content – complete inner satisfaction; as much as wanted

leash (n.) – a long leather or fabric tie that attaches to a dog's collar.

play fetch – follow and bring back the ball

socialize (v.) – meet, greet and interact with others

surf (n.) – ocean water as it rolls onto the beach

wag (v.) – move back and forth  (for tongues and tails)

 

 

 

 

Edit for errors

  1. Edit the sentence(s) in the text box.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "check" button.

 

31.
Carmel by the Sea is a dogs dream.


32.
Dogs can run to its heart's content on its beautiful, white, sandy, mile-long beach.


33.
Here, the residents truly believe that dogs are best friend.


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Dogs freely socialize with other dogs or play fetch with they toys in the surf.


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The dogs' tails wag high in the air, and there noses sniff the ocean air.


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Pet owners come from miles around for long, dog-tiring walks on this beach.