Singular Possessive Pronoun: 9 Facts You Should Know


Use of singular possessive pronoun in sentences will help you to differentiate between singular and possessive pronoun.

A possessive pronoun will be singular or plural is completely depends on the concept of ‘number’. Possessive pronouns of 1st person, 2nd person and 3rd person singular number are named as ‘Singular Possessive Pronouns’.

Can possessive pronouns be singular?

Yes, possessive pronouns can be singular. Possessive pronouns are all about possession of 1st person, 2nd person and 3rd person. Again, possessive pronouns can be divided in two groups; Possessive Singular Possessive Pronouns and Possessive Plural Possessive Pronouns. The group ‘Singular Possessive Pronouns’ includes five possessive pronouns.

Example with ‘Mine’ – Though nobody likes my dress but I am fond of mine.

Explanation – Here, the possessive pronoun ‘mine’ can be categorized as ‘Singular Possessive Pronoun’ as it refers to 1st person singular number ‘I’.

Example with ‘Yours’ – You must be concerned about textbook of yours.

Explanation – Here, the possessive pronoun ‘yours’ can be categorized as ‘Singular Possessive Pronoun’ as it refers to 2nd  person singular number ‘You’.

Example with ‘His’ – Pijush is not welcome in this place as his present makes everyone annoyed.

Explanation – Here, the possessive pronoun ‘his’ can be categorized as ‘Singular Possessive Pronoun’ as it refers to 3rd  person singular number ‘He’.

Example with ‘Her’ – Rita wants to buy some new reference books as existing reference books of hers are not enough to do study.

Explanation – Here, the possessive pronoun ‘hers’ can be categorized as ‘Singular Possessive Pronoun’ as it refers to 3rd  person singular number ‘She’.

Example with ‘Its’ – The cat always comes in our house to eat fish instead of drinking milk in its own house.

Explanation – Here, the possessive pronoun ‘its’ can be categorized as ‘Singular Possessive Pronoun’ as it refers to 3rd person singular number ‘It’.

When possessive pronouns are singular?

Possessive pronouns become singular when they show possession of any single living being or single non-living object. Let’s categorized situations in which possessive pronouns become singular.

Situation 1 – A possessive Pronoun become singular when it shows possession of 1st person singular number ‘I’.

Situation 2 – A possessive Pronoun become singular when it shows possession of 2nd person singular number ‘You’.

Situation 3 – A possessive Pronoun become singular when it shows possession of 3rd person singular number ‘He’.

Situation 4 – A possessive Pronoun become singular when it shows possession of 3rd person singular number ‘She’.

Situation 5 – A possessive Pronoun become singular when it shows possession of 3rd person singular number ‘It’.

Example 01 – The red water bottle among all white coloured water bottles is mine.

Example 02 – Our tulip flower plant used to show its true colour during rainy season.

Example 03 – Mandira started crying over burnt cake of hers.

Example 04 – Pijush always kept his bag at the last bench of the class.

Example 05 –I like house of yours as it is very well structured.

Explanation – All the above sentences are examples of singular possessive pronouns as all of them are showing possession of any single living being or non-living object.

Which possessive pronouns are singular?

Possessive Pronouns of English language are also called ‘Absolute Possessive Pronouns’ or ‘Strong Possessive Pronouns’. There are many possessive pronouns in English language, like; mine, yours, ours, hers, theirs etc. Among all of them, only five possessive pronouns are single possessive pronouns. Mine, yours, his, hers and its are called singular possessive pronouns because they show possession of any single living or non-living object.

Let’s look at below listed table to get idea of singular possessive pronouns.

List of ‘Singular Possessive Pronouns’ –

PersonPossessive Pronoun1st Person Singular NumberMine2nd Person Singular NumberYours3rd Person Singular Number ( Male )His3rd Person Singular Number ( Female )Hers3rd Person Singular Number ( Object )ItsList of ‘Singular Possessive Pronouns’
singular possessive pronoun
Five Examples of Singular Possessive Pronouns

Example 1 – This old English text book is mine and that new English text book is yours.

Explanation – We can see use of two singular possessive pronouns, ‘mine’ and ‘yours’ in the above mentioned sentence.

Example 2 – Julie is the name of my cat and I love its nature to cuddle me at the time of sleeping.

Explanation – We can see use of one singular possessive pronoun, ‘its’ in the above mentioned sentence.

Example 3 – Rana went to play with his cricket bat while Mina went to play the same game with a ball of hers.

Explanation – We can see use of two singular possessive pronouns, ‘his’ and ‘hers’ in the above mentioned sentence.

Why are possessive pronouns singular?

Mine, yours, his, hers and its are called singular possessive pronouns because they show possession of only singular living or non-living object.

  1. The possessive pronoun ‘mine’ is called singular possessive pronoun because it shows possession of 1st person singular number.
  2. The possessive pronoun ‘yours’ is called singular possessive pronoun because it shows possession of 2nd person singular number.
  3. The possessive pronoun ‘his’ is called singular possessive pronoun because it shows possession of 3rd person singular number (male).
  4. The possessive pronoun ‘hers’ is called singular possessive pronoun because it shows possession of 3rd person singular number (female).
  5. The possessive pronoun ‘its’ is called singular possessive pronoun because it shows possession of 3rd person singular number (object).

Example 1 – I don’t want help of anyone to pack suitcase of mine as Pijush can also pack suitcase of his.

Example 2 – You must read book of yours as Rita is busy in painting of hers.

Explanation –

Both the examples are evidences of singular possessive pronouns. In the first example, we can see possession of 1st person singular number and 3rd person singular number (male). In the second example, we can see examples of both 2nd person singular number and 3rd person singular number (female).

Which possessive pronouns are always singular?

There are only five possessive pronouns which are always used as ‘Singular’ possessive pronouns. Those five singular possessive pronouns are

  1. Mine
  2. Yours
  3. His
  4. Hers
  5. its

Sentence with ‘Mine’ – One day, I want to purchase a flat of mine.

Sentence with ‘Yours’ – You must change subject combination of yours for your B.A.

Sentence with ‘His’ – Rana wants to draw the picture of horse with his own sketch pens.

Sentence with ‘Hers’ – Manisha and calligraphy of hers are quiet commendable.

Sentence with ‘Its’ – My computer and its tantrum for not showing a clean screen is hard to resist.

Sentence with ‘Its’ – My computer and its tantrum for not showing a clean screen is hard to resist.

Explanation – Here, all five sentences are showing possession of singular number.

‘Singular Possessive Pronoun’ examples –

Example 1 – My mother doesn’t allow anyone in her kitchen as she is possessive about kitchen of hers.

Explanation – Here, the possessive pronoun ‘hers’ can be categorized under the group ‘Singular Possessive Pronoun’ as it refers to 3rd person singular number ‘She’.

Example 2 – I am not giving up decision of mine.

Explanation – Here, the possessive pronoun ‘mine’ can be categorized under the group ‘Singular Possessive Pronoun’ as it refers to 1st person singular number ‘I’.

Example 3 – Though you are my elder brother but I am not going to wear blazer of yours.

Explanation – Here, the possessive pronoun ‘yours’ can be categorized as ‘Singular Possessive Pronoun’ as it refers to 2nd  person singular number ‘You’.

Example 4 – Sandip and his poems, both are intolerable.

Explanation – Here, the possessive pronoun ‘his’ can be categorized as ‘Singular Possessive Pronoun’ as it refers to 3rd  person singular number ‘He’.

Example 5 – My puppy and its possession over its favourite toy is hilarious to watch.

Explanation – Here, the possessive pronoun ‘its’ can be categorized as ‘Singular Possessive Pronoun’ as it refers to 3rd person singular number ‘It’.

Which possessive pronouns can be either singular or plural?

There is only one possessive pronoun which can be used either as singular or plural possessive pronoun. It is a general concept that the words ‘theirs’ is a possessive pronoun but we can use the same as singular possessive pronoun.

Example – Though there were lots of umbrellas but Pijush knew which one is theirs.

Explanation – Here, the possessive pronoun ‘theirs’ is in use to refer singular mode.

Types of possessive pronouns –

Possessive pronouns can be categorized in three groups; ‘Singular Possessive Pronouns’, ‘Plural Possessive Pronouns’ and  possessive Pronouns which can be either singular or plural.

Singular Possessive PronounsPlural Possessive PronounsPossessive Pronouns which can be either singular or plural
mineourstheirs
yoursyours 
hers /histheirs 
its  
Three groups of ‘Possessive Pronouns’

Example – All the age old furniture of this palace are property of ours.

Explanation – Here, the possessive pronoun ‘ours’ can be called plural possessive pronoun as it is showing possession of more than one person.

How to identify possessive pronouns?

There are two common ways to identify a possessive pronoun.

First, a possessive pronoun usually placed in a sentence by replacing the main noun.

Second, a possessive pronoun usually placed at the end of a sentence.

Example – I am not bothered about dance performance of mine.

Explanation – Here, the possessive pronoun ‘mine’ is not followed by a noun. The possessive pronoun ‘mine’ has its placement at the end of the sentence. Both the cases are way to identify possessive pronoun.

Conclusion –

We must not mix up concept of singular possessive pronouns with singular possessive adjectives. We must keep in mind that singular possessive pronouns are always placed after ‘Noun’ while singular possessive adjectives are placed before a noun to show possession.

Arpita Bose Roy

Hey! I am Arpita Bose Roy. My qualifications are M.A. in English with  B. Ed. in both general education and special education. I have 2 years of experience as a "language analyst" at IIT Kharagpur and 4 years of experience as an "Academic Content Developer" at IIT Kharagpur. Currently, I am working as an academic writer at Lambdageeks. Let's connect through LinkedIn-https://www.linkedin.com/mwlite/in/arpita-bose-roy-0aa32553

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