Possessive Pronouns and Personal Pronouns: 7 Important Facts 


This article lays out the differences between possessive pronouns and personal pronouns. 

Possessive pronouns are words that replace nouns to indicate ownership or belonging. On the other hand, personal pronouns are words that replace the proper name of a noun. 

Can possessive pronouns be personal pronouns? 

No. The only similarity between possessive pronouns and personal pronouns is that they are both pronouns (that is: words that can be used in the place of nouns). 

The table below lists all possible possessive pronouns and personal pronouns: 

Possessive PronounsPersonal Pronouns 
mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, yours, theirs I, me, you, she, he, they, her, him, them, it, us, we 
Possessive pronouns and personal pronouns
Possessive Pronouns and Personal Pronouns

When can possessive pronouns be personal pronouns? 

Possessive pronouns can never be personal pronouns. The two have completely different functions. Possessive pronouns help us indicate ownership, whereas personal pronouns allow our writing to be more economical. 

Are possessive pronouns and personal pronouns always the same? 

No, possessive pronouns and personal pronouns are never the same. There is no overlap between them. 

When are possessive pronouns and personal pronouns different? 

Possessive pronouns and personal pronouns are always different. 

Similarities between possessive pronouns and personal pronouns

They are both pronouns. This means that can both be used to replace nouns in phrases/sentences. 

Difference between possessive pronouns and personal pronouns  

Possessive pronouns are used to express ownership. On the other hand, personal pronouns replace proper nouns so that we don’t have to keep repeating them in sentences or paragraphs. 

Examples of possessive pronouns 

Example 1: Those are mine, please don’t touch them without my permission. 

In this example, “mine” is a possessive pronoun that suggests that the noun that the relative pronoun “those” belongs to the speaker.

Example 2: These cards aren’t his. They belong to a girl who was sitting here before him. 

In this example, the word “his” is a possessive pronoun that makes it unnecessary to use the phrase “his cards”—which would have made the first sentence repetitive. 

Example 3: These books are yours until you are no longer in need of them. 

In this example, the word “yours” is a possessive pronoun that makes it unnecessary to use the phrase “your books”—which would have made the sentence repetitive. 

Example 4: The student government is sure of its decision to postpone the exams.  

In this example, the word “its” is a possessive pronoun that replaces the phrase “the student government.” 

Example 5: Everything in this room is ours to share.  

In this example, the word “ours” is a possessive pronoun that can be used to reference one or more people (including oneself). 

Examples of personal pronouns

Example 1: Where is she? I haven’t seen her in days. 

In this example, both “she” and “her” are personal pronouns that are referencing someone of the female gender. 

Example 2: I don’t understand why the worst things always happen to me. 

In this example, both “I” and “me” are personal pronouns that allow the speaker to reference themselves. 

Example 3: Is he out of town? If so, do you know how I could reach him? 

In this example, both “he” and“him” are personal pronouns to refer to someone of the male gender. Meanwhile, “you” is a personal pronoun to refer to a second person. 

Example 4: I haven’t heard from your parents in a while. How are they? Tell them to call me. 

In this example, the personal pronouns “they” and “them” are used to substitute the phrase “your parents.”

Example 6: Wow, look at that cake! It looks so delicious. 

In this example, the personal pronoun “it” is used instead of the phrase “the cake.” 

Example 7: Look at us! We are both grown up now. 

In this example, “us” and “we” are both personal pronouns. 

In conclusion, personal pronouns and possessive pronouns are both different types of pronouns. While possessive pronouns indicate ownership, personal pronouns are used to substitute the proper names of people, animals, or things. 

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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