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How to Use Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns show possession. Not the movie head-twisting-backwards kind of possession, but the kind where somebody owns something. Possessive pronouns include my, your, his, her, its, our, their, mine, yours, hers, ours, theirs, and whose. Check out the following sample sentences:

Michael took his apple out of the refrigerator marked “Open Only in Case of Emergency.”
Sure that the computer had beeped its last beep, Lola shopped for a new model.
To our dismay, Roger and Lulu opened their birthday presents two days early.
Vengeance is mine.
Lester slapped the dancer whose stiletto heels had wounded Lola’s big toe.

The possessive pronouns in these examples show that the apple belongs to Michael, the beep belongs to the computer, the dismay belongs to us, and the presents belong to Roger and Lulu. Vengeance belongs to me. (Mine is the possessive pronoun that refers to something I own, something that belongs to me.)

The last sentence is a little more complicated. The word whose refers to the dancer. The stiletto heels belong to the dancer. The big toe belongs to Lola, but possession is shown in this example with a possessive noun (Lola’s) not a possessive pronoun (her).

Notice that none of the possessive pronouns have apostrophes. They never do! Ever! Never ever! Putting apostrophes into possessive pronouns is one of the most common errors. (It’s doesn’t mean belongs to it. It’s means it is.)

Which sentence is correct?

A. Smashing the pumpkin on his mother’s clean floor, Rocky commented, “I believe this gourd is yours.”
B. Smashing the pumpkin on his mother’s clean floor, Rocky commented, “I believe this gourd is your’s.”

Answer: Sentence A is correct. No possessive pronoun has an apostrophe, and yours is a possessive pronoun.

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