English Grammar

Possessive adjectives examples and types

Possessive adjectives

The possessive adjectives are words that complement the noun and indicating membership. Like any adjective, it accompanies the noun to highlight its characteristics. In your specific case, this accompaniment has the function of determining it through a possession relationship. That is, it relates it to a particular person or to a group. Possessive adjectives types and examples

These possessive adjectives are classified taking as a criterion the position they occupy with respect to the noun. Note the place they occupy with respect to the noun lie in the sentences: No one will believe that lie of yours and No one will believe your lie.

In this way, those who occupy the position behind the noun are called strong tonics or possessives. This list is made up of mine, yours, yours, and ours, along with their feminine forms and their plural forms. As can be seen, these agree both in gender and in number with the noun that precedes it. Possessive adjectives types and examples

What are possessive adjectives for?

Establishment of ownership links

Traditionally, adjectives are defined as the words that qualify or determine the noun. In the specific case of possessive adjectives, they have a determinative function. More specifically, these establish property links between objects, beings and emotions.

Thus, by reinforcing this ownership link, they isolate a particular noun from the universe of other nouns. This helps to make the speech coherent.

For example, in the phrase my house, the possessive adjective mi specifies a membership status that distinguishes that house from others.

Other uses

On the other hand, possessive adjectives can contribute to giving certain positional or spatial information. This is achieved through expressions such as next to meto his right, or around us.

They can also be useful for conveying moods. This function is influenced by personal traits and circumstantial situations.

Thus, these manifestations can range from a complaint, as in This luck of mineUntil expression of appreciation for a loved one, as in Friend of mine!

As can be seen in these sentences, the same possessive adjective can have different connotations and effects depending on the person who uses it and the conditions.

These different meanings can be clearly seen in the sentence That’s our team! On the one hand, it can be the manifestation of pride in the performance of a sports group or of another nature. But it can also express frustration over poor performance.

Even possessive adjectives can be used to establish distances that are not spatial, but emotional in nature. This is the case, for example, of a father talking to the mother of his son and referring to him as your son instead of our son. Possessive adjectives types and examples


Possessive adjectives are classified into tonic and unstressed. As mentioned above, the first ones are located after the noun.

This is the complete list of tonics : mine, mine, mine, mine, yours, yours, yours, yours, yours, yours, yours, yours, our, our, ours and ours.

On the other hand, the unstressed ones are placed in front of the noun. This group is made up of: my, my, you, your, their, their, yours, yours, your, yours, our, our, our and ours.

Except for the first and second person plural, these possessive adjectives are also called apocopated adjectives. They owe this name to the fact that they are short when they are in front of the noun. Notice the difference between His problem and That problem of hers .

On the other hand, the case of the relative pronoun whose and its feminine and plural forms should be mentioned. These are also used with possessive value.

Whose, whose, whose, and whose are placed after an antecedent that identifies the possessor and before the noun that denotes the possessed. And they always agree with that noun in gender and number. Possessive adjectives types and examples


Possessive adjectives

“I am not trying to justify my sins of youth with the story that I could not control the momentum of my desires, far from it […] In my generation we made a distinction between decent women and the others …” ( The house of spirits of Isabel Allende, 1982)

“… But suddenly Harold Lloyd would pass by and then you would shake off the water of your dream and in the end you would convince yourself that everything had been very good, and that Pabst and Fritz Lang. You fed me a little with your mania for perfection, with your broken shoes, with your refusal to accept what is acceptable. ” ( Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar, 1963)

“He came hastily and immediately suspended all its efforts not to miss one of his words. They were meeting there for the purpose of preparing Christmas cakes. As its name implies, these cakes are made during the Christmas season, but this time the were doing to celebrate the birthday of Tita. “( Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, 1989)

Full possessive adjectives

“ My sweet love , the noise of your enemies is such and such that they do not let me sleep anymore; blows become more violent, I hear the sound of the chains […] Love of mine and all mine , as you crawl and the air seems that deafened by the shouts and whistles, and Ilegas before Caiaphas … “( The Hours of the Passion of Luisa Piccarreta, 1928)

“An officer friend of yours is very ill with pneumonia in cabin ninety-six. Lieutenant Wheeler has kept him alive […] That is his business , but it will not interfere with the performance of my duties. ” ( One of Ours by Willa Cather, 1922) Possessive adjectives types and examples

“Saleem-and-Shiva, nose-and-knees… we only shared three things: the moment (and its consequences) of our birth; the guilt of the betrayal; and our son, Aadam, our synthesis, unsmiling, serious, with all-ears. ” ( Salman Rushdie’s Midnight Sons , 2011)

Relative Pronouns

“The season opened with a French opera company whose novelty was a harp in the  orchestra, and whose unforgettable glory was the immaculate voice and dramatic talent of a Turkish soprano …” ( Love in the Times of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez , 1985)

“They try to guess my mockery, that final mockery that I have so savored alone, that ultimate humiliation whose full consequences I will no longer be able to enjoy, but whose initial spasms delight me at this moment.” ( The Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes, 1962)

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