Possessive Nouns and Possessive Pronouns: 7 Important Facts 


This article clarifies the difference between possessive nouns and possessive pronouns.  

Possessive nouns and possessive pronouns are not the same thing. Possessive nouns are nouns that are used to indicate ownership. Meanwhile, possessive pronouns replace nouns while also indicating ownership or possession. 

Can possessive nouns be possessive pronouns? 

No, possessive nouns and possessive pronouns are never the same. This is because possessive nouns and possessive pronouns are fundamentally different, as pronouns replace the need for nouns in sentences. 

Example 1: The clothes on the bed belong to Saachi.

This example doesn’t use possessive nouns or possessive pronouns. 

Example 2: The clothes on the bed are Saachi’s. 

This example uses the possessive noun “Saachi’s.” By adding an apostrophe + ‘s’ to the proper noun Saachi, the word turns it into a possessive noun. 

Example 3: The clothes on the bed are hers. 

This example uses the possessive pronoun “hers.”  “Hers” is a possessive pronoun because it indicates ownership and informs us of the gender of the subject (while replacing the need for a noun in the sentence). 

Are possessive nouns and possessive pronouns always different? 

Yes, possessive nouns and possessive pronouns are always different. You can form possessive nouns by adding an apostrophe + ‘s’ to the end of a noun.

The following words are possessive pronouns: mine, yours, his, hers, ours, and theirs. 

How are possessive nouns related to possessive pronouns? 

Both possessive nouns and possessive pronouns are used to indicate ownership or possession of something. 

Difference between possessive nouns and possessive pronouns 

Possessive nouns are nouns that end with either an apostrophe or an apostrophe + ‘s,’ whereas possessive pronouns are words that replace nouns in sentences while also indicating ownership or possession of something. 

Example 1: Shreya’s clothes have all become too small for her. 

In this example, an apostrophe + ‘s’ is added to the proper noun Shreya in order to turn it into a possessive noun. “Shreya’s” is a possessive noun because it informs us that the following noun (“clothes”) is in possession of Shreya. 

Example 2: The tree’s bark was covered in moss. 

In this example, an apostrophe + ‘s’ is added to the noun “tree” in order to turn it into a possessive noun.

Example 3: The different groups’ ideas ended up being very similar to one another. 

In this example, only an apostrophe is added to the noun “groups” in order to turn it into a possessive noun. This is the case whenever you want to turn a plural noun into a possessive noun. 

Example 4: Mehr’s contribution to the class discussion wasn’t enough to make it lively. 

In this example, an apostrophe + ‘s’ is added to the proper noun “Mehr” in order to turn it into a possessive noun.

Example 5: Today’s homework is to write an essay about Mahatma Gandhi. 

In this example, an apostrophe + ‘s’ is added to the noun “today” in order to turn it into a possessive noun.

When to use possessive pronouns? 

Example 1: This desk can’t be yours, it doesn’t have your name written on it.

This example uses the possessive pronoun “yours.”  This replaces the need of using the noun phrase “your desk” in the sentence. 

Example 2: This pencil case is definitely mine, but the pens inside it belong to someone else. 

This example uses the possessive pronoun “mine.”  This replaces the need of using the noun phrase “my pencil case” in the sentence. 

Example 3: This job is hers for the taking. 

This example uses the possessive pronoun “hers.”  This replaces the need of using the noun phrase “her job” in the sentence. 

Example 4: Everything over here is theirs. Nothing is ours to use. 

This example uses the possessive pronouns “theirs” and “ours.” 

Example 5: The fault isn’t his for not being able to show up to work on time.

This example uses the possessive pronoun “his.” 

In conclusion, the difference between possessive pronouns and possessive nouns is that possessive pronouns are used to replace nouns. That said, both possessive nouns and possessive pronouns can be used to indicate ownership or belonging.

Read more about Is “my” a possessive pronoun?

Srishti Mukherjee

Hi, I am Srishti Mukherjee. I have completed my M.A. in English. I always like to explore new zones in the field of English Literature Apart from this, I like to read Novels and watch movies.

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