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Possessive adjective

Possessive adjectives, also known as possessive determiners, are a part of speech that modifies a noun by attributing possession (or other sense of belonging) to someone or something. In English, the words my, your and her are examples.

Possessive adjectives/determiners can eliminate repetition in a sentence by replacing a determiner phrase (or in other analyses, a noun phrase). They allow us, for example, to say the girl took off her glasses instead of the girl took off the girl's glasses.

Comparison with determiners and adjectives

Possessive determiners/adjectives have features of both determiners and adjectives:

  • Possessive determiners always imply the article the. For example, my car always means the car that belongs to me. Therefore, possessive determiners function as a determiner and as such are not used with most other determiners including articles such as the or demonstratives such as that, which are usually required in English and other European languages before a noun. For example, My hat is blue and that hat is green is grammatically correct, but The my hat is blue and hat is green is not. Like articles, possessive determiners may be used with cardinal numbers, as in My three children are married or Three of my children are married, or indefinite quantifiers, as in Some of my children are married.
  • Like some demonstratives, e.g. this ("close at hand") and that ("further away from me"), possessive determiners often imply additional information. For example, I lost my earring in the elevator could imply the meaning "I lost one of the earrings which was attached to one of my ears while I was in the elevator", while I'll look in my purse could imply the meaning "I'll look in the purse that I am carrying or that I brought with me here today".
  • Like other adjectives, possessive adjectives may be modified with an adverb, though this is uncommon. The adverbs more or less (comparative) may sometimes appear, for example in This is more my team than your team. However, the superlative form (usually most or -est in English) is usually not used, for example This is most my team is not encountered.

While some classify the words my, your etc. as possessive adjectives, others, due to the differences noted above, do not consider them adjectives – at least, not in English – and prefer possessive determiners. In some other languages the equivalent parts of speech may behave more like true adjectives, however.

The words my, your etc. are sometimes classified, along with mine, yours etc., as possessive pronounsor genitive pronouns, since they are thepossessive (or genitive) forms of the ordinary personal pronounsI, you etc. However, unlike most other pronouns, they do not behave grammatically as standalone nouns, but instead qualify another noun – as in my book (contrasted with that's mine, for example, where mine substitutes for a complete noun phrase such as my book). For this reason, other authors restrict the term "possessive pronoun" to the group of words mine, yours etc. that substitute directly for a noun or noun phrase.

Some authors who classify both sets of words as "possessive pronouns" or "genitive pronouns" apply the terms dependent/independent or weak/strong to refer, respectively, to my, your etc. and mine, yours etc. For example, under this scheme, my might be termed a dependent possessive pronoun and mine an independent possessive pronoun.

"Possessive adjectives" in English

The "possessive adjectives" in modern English are my, your, his, her, its, our, their and whose (in Whose coat is this?, for example). All of them indicate definiteness, like the definite articlethe. Archaic forms are thy and mine (for my, used before a vowel, as in It is mine own work).

The possessive suffix -'s works similarly (as in Mary's husband, anyone's guess), but it is a clitic attached to the preceding determiner phrase.

In English, "possessive adjectives" come before any (genuine) adjectives, for example your big blue eyes, not big blue your eyes.

"Possessive adjectives" in English are sometimes misspelled with apostrophes ("it's", "her's").

Possessive adjectives in other languages

Though in English the possessive adjectives indicate definiteness, in other languages the definiteness needs to be added separately for grammatical correctness. In Norwegian the phrase "my book" would be boka mi, where boka is the definite form of the feminine noun bok (book), and mi (my) is the possessive pronoun following feminine singular nouns.

In most Romance languages (such as Spanish, French, and Italian) the gender of the possessive adjective agrees with the thing(s) owned, not with the owner. French, for example, uses son for masculine nouns and also for feminine noun phrases starting with a vowel, sa elsewhere; compare Il a perdu son chapeau ("He lost his hat") with Elle a perdu son chapeau ("She lost her hat"). In this respect the possessive adjectives in these languages resemble ordinary adjectives.

In Italian, construction

Proper noun

A proper noun or proper name is a noun representing unique entities (such as London,Jupiter,John Hunter, orToyota), as distinguished from a 'common noun which describe a class of entities (such as city, planet, person or car). Proper nouns are not normally preceded by an article or other limiting modifier (such as any or some), and are used to denote a particular person, place, or object without regard to any descriptive meaning the word or phrase may have (for example, a town called "Newtown" may be, but does not necessarily have to be, a new [recently built] town).


In English and most other languages that use the Latin alphabet, proper nouns are usually capitalized. Languages differ in whether most elements of multiword proper nouns are capitalized (e.g., American English House of Representatives) or only the initial element (e.g., Slovenian Državni zbor 'National Assembly'). In German, nouns of all types are capitalized. In past centuries, orthographic practices in English, including noun capitalization, varied widely, with less standardization than today. Documents from the 18th century show some writers capitalizing all nouns and others capitalizing certain nouns based on varying ideas of their importance in the discussion. For example, the end (but not the beginning) of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and all of the Constitution (1787) show nearly all nouns capitalized, the Bill of Rights (1789) capitalizes a few common nouns but not most of them, and the Thirteenth Constitutional Amendment (1865) only capitalizes proper nouns. Today English orthography has been standardized to the point that capitalizing common nouns is considered formally incorrect outside of sentence-initial or title case contexts. Although informal writing often dismisses formal orthographic standards (by mutual consent of the communicators), an epistemological stance of orthographic "right and wrong" governs formal writing.

Today the meaning of proper noun capitalization is uniqueness within an implicit context, that is, it provides a name to an instance of a general type when the instance is unique within an implicit context. Most often the implicit context is "the whole world" or "the universe"; thus London, Jupiter, John Hunter, and Toyota are effortlessly understood as being cosmically unique; they derive their proper-noun status (and thus their capitalization) from that fact, and those properties are unequivocal (no one could argue with them). But in instances where a context shift is possible, and the context shift causes a shift from uniqueness to nonuniqueness, the capitalization or lowercasing decision may become a matter of perspective, as discussed below (see especially the examples under "Specific designators"). Sometimes the same word can function as both a common noun and a proper noun, depending on context. Two variants of this principle can be distinguished, although the distinction is blurred by real-world use of the labels to refer to instances of both types. They have no universally agreed names (that is, no standardized metalanguage), but the names "capitonym" and "specific designator" have some currency.

Specific designators

There are many words that are generally common nouns but that can easily "serve temporary proper noun duty" (or "contextual proper noun duty"). Some examples are agency, avenue, boulevard, box, building, bureau, case, chapter, city, class, college, day, edition, floor, grade, group, hospital, level, office, page, paragraph, part, phase, road, school, stage, step, street, type, university, week. The temporary proper noun duty occurs when the common noun is paired with a number or other word to create a name for a specific instance of an abstraction (that is, a specific case of a general type). It is then referred to as a "specific designator". For example:

  • Mary lives on the third floor of the main building. (common noun senses throughout)
  • Mary lives on Floor 3 of the Main Building. (same information content but recast cognitively as proper names. There is no etic difference except the cognitive one of the specificity that the capitalization imbues. It establishes an implicit sense that "within our commonly understood context [the building complex that we are standing in], the main building being referenced is the only main building. It is a unique object [as far as our context is concerned].)
  • My bookmark takes me to the main page of the English Wikipedia.
  • What is the proper name of that page?
  • It is the Main Page.
  • Sanjay lives on the beach road. [the road that runs along the beach]
  • Sanjay lives on Beach Road. [the specific road that is named with the capitalized proper name "Beach Road". It is a unique instance of a road in the world, although its proper name is unique only within our province. Our neighboring province also has a road named Beach Road.]
  • In 1947, the U.S. established the Central Intelligence Agency.
  • In 1947, the U.S. established a central intelligence agency to coordinate its various foreign intelligence efforts. It was named the Central Intelligence Agency.
  • India has a ministry of home affairs. It is called the Ministry of Home Affairs. (Within the context of India, it is the only ministry of home affairs, so you can name it by capitalizing the common noun. Within the context of planet Earth, it is a unique organization, but capitalizing the common noun is not a viable way to arrive at a unique proper name for it, because other countries also may use that same name for their unique organization. Another way to say the same idea is that within India's namespace, the naming convention provides sufficient uniqueness of the identifier, but with

Possessive pronoun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For example, in the sentence These glasses are mine, not yours, the words mine and yours are possessive pronouns and stand for my glasses and your glasses, ...

From Yahoo Answers

Question:I am not used to using this sentence pattern, that is , a possessive pronoun+doing, say, do you mind my smoking? Could you tolerate Jim's laughing at you, or could you tolerate Jim laughing at you? Give me more examples and demonstrate me how to use this sentence pattern flawlessly? my answering this question should get me 10 points! "My answering this question" is the subject, also a noun formally, but actually a sentence. your asking means you're trying to learn something good for you! "Your asking" is the subject, also a noun formally, while actually it is a sentence. Give me more examples, please. I am trying to polish/refine my English. ex of possessive pronoun + gerund

Answers:gerund, she's right a noun formed from a verb, ending in -ing, denoting an action or state, for example running --> Running is a good exercise. to use it flawlessly, just remember that they are NOUNS, not verbs (ergo NOT doing the ACTION of the subject) I couldn't appreciate his taking pictures of me at the party where I got so drunk. (verb- appreciate; gerund-taking) He never really thought his flirting would hurt her enough to commit suicide. :P

Question:In the sentence, "Tonya's plans include a whole days' exploration of the city". Is the word (days) supposed to have an apostrophe?

Answers:yes but only before the s a whole day's because it is one day, not multiple days. also, because "days" like this (no apostrophe) just means multiple days and doesn't reference the exploration. "days' " like this (apostrophe after the s) references the exploration but means several days of exploration and wouldn't make sense as a single day of exploration. grammar rule #56 http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/GRAMMAR/grammarlogs/grammarlogs56.htm good luck!!

Question:How to use its? Ex: mike loves to eat and he likes to bite his finger. can i say it this way? mike loves to eat and he likes to bite its finger. should i only use its i mean the possessive pronoun only to replace a noun that is a thing and animal not a person? the dog is big and he likes to bite its tail. (animal) the car is big and one of its tire is flat. (thing) mike is big and he likes to bite its finger.(person) which of the follow sentence is correct or incorrect. explain please and if can please give a couple example how you would use it. THanks alot

Answers:"Its" is appropriate for things and sometimes animals, but not for people. I say sometimes animals because if one of our pets is biting its tail, we say, "She is biting her tail." But if you don't know the animal or it is a farm animal, you would call it "it" and say, "its tail." The dog likes to bite its tail. The car is big, and one of its tires is flat. Mike is big, and he likes to bite his finger. Mike's finger=his finger Mary's hair=her hair Mike's and Mary's family=their family My family=my family The bull's horns=Its horns (Or if he is your pet, "his horns")

Question:Can someone help me please? It says: REWRITE the following sentences using possessive pronouns. Example: Ce livre est a moi --------> C'est mon livre 1. C'est le baladeur de Martin. 2. Cette voiture est a moi. 3. Ce sont les mobylettes d'Andre et David Thank you kindly!

Answers:C'est son baladeur. C'est ma voiture. Ce sont leurs mobylettes.

From Youtube

GMAT Prep - Verbal - Sentence Correction - Collective Nouns and Generic Nouns as Subjects by Knewton :Go to www.knewton.com for hundreds of GMAT math and verbal concepts, thousands of practice problems and much more. Knewton GMAT is a GMAT prep course that redefines everything you thought you knew about online learning. Subject-verb agreement can be particularly tricky when the subject of our sentence is a collective noun for a generic noun. Now a collective noun names a class or a group. Nouns like "jury," "committee," or "group" are collective nouns. A generic noun represents a typical member of a group. Let's see how collective nouns usually function in a sentence. Usually, the things described as a collective noun functions as a unit, and is therefore treated as a singular noun. For instance, take this sentence, "The committee grant its permission for the artist to place her sculpture in the park." The collective noun, "committee" is talking about a number of people, but they're acting as one unit to give permission for this artist to place her sculpture in the park. Therefore, the noun, "committee" takes the singular verb "grants" and the singular pronoun, "its" when talking bout what it does. However, things can get a little bit trickier when the members of a collective noun or the things described by a collective noun function as individuals rather than a group. Look at this example: "The committee put their signatures on the document." Since all of the members of the committee would have to individually sign a document, and they couldn't act as a group in this ...