Possessive Adjectives

Examples of Possessive Adjectives

Possessive adjectives are words (such as “my,” “your,” “his,” “its”, etc.) quite identical or similar to a possessive pronounOpens in new window; but are used as an adjectiveOpens in new window to modify a nounOpens in new window or a noun phraseOpens in new window, as is the case in the following sentences.

Examples:
  • I can’t complete my assignment because I don’t have the textbook.
  • In this sentence, my is a possessive adjective; it modifies the noun assignment. However, the noun phrase my assignment functions as an object.

Note that the possessive pronoun form mine is not used to modify a noun or noun phrase.

  • What is your phone number?
  • Here the possessive adjective your is used to modify the noun phrase phone number; the entire noun phrase your phone number is a subject complement.

Note that the possessive pronoun form yours is neither used to modify a noun nor a noun phrase.

  • The bakery sold his favorite type of bread.
  • In this example, the possessive adjective his modifies the noun phrase favorite type of bread and the entire noun phrase his favorite type of bread is the direct object of the verb sold.

Note the fact that there are seven main possessive pronounsOpens in new window that are used as adjectives: my, your, her, his, its, our, and their.

Important Hint!  

You should not confuse possessive adjectives with possessive pronounsOpens in new window. A possessive adjective is placed before a noun while a possessive pronoun is used in place of a noun. See example below:

  • That is my car. (possessive adjective + noun)
  • That car is mine. (possessive pronoun)