What are possessive adjectives?
The possessive adjectives are my, your, his, her, its, our, and their.
They are possessive pronouns that act as adjectives in sentences. His and its can also act as pronouns in sentences.
My cat likes milk. (My is modifying the noun cat.)
Our car broke down. (Our is modifying the noun car.)
Other possessive pronouns are mine, yours, hers, ours, and theirs.
The book is mine.
That milkshake is his.
A possessive adjective (my, your, his, her, its, our, their) modifies the noun that comes after it in order to indicate possession. (1)
If we break down the term, it might be a little easier to understand.
Possessive comes from the word 'possess', which means 'belonging to' or to 'own'.
Example: I possess a car. = I own a car/The car belongs to me.
An adjective is a word that describes/modifies a noun.
Example: I own a blue car. = The adjective in this sentence is 'blue'. It is an adjective because it describes the noun in the sentence (car).
So, a possessive adjective is an adjective that tells us * who, or what, something belongs to .* In English, we have different possessive adjectives to indicate who (or what) something belongs to.
The possessive adjectives are as follows:
Here are some examples of how to use possessive adjectives in sentences:
That is my car. (That car belongs to me.)
Is that your bag? (Do you own that bag?)
His car cost £10,000. (The car he owns cost £10,000.)
This is our school. (We go to this school.)
I love their ideas! (I love the ideas that they have).
NB: You don't have to be a person to 'own' or 'possess' something!
There was a polar bear in front of us. Its fur was silky and white.
= the fur that belongs to the polar bear was white.
Do you like my new car? Its top speed is 120 mph!
= the top speed is a function of the car: it is an ability it possesses.
Careful not to confuse its (possessive adjective) and it's (short way of saying it is)!