Possessive Pronouns

The English language is one of the most convoluted languages there is. We’re lucky we simply ABSORB most of the rules. I taught ESL for a number of years and learned the hard way that “That’s just the way it is” doesn’t help ANYONE!

But English doesn’t just trip up non-native speakers. Many native “Americans” struggle with the formalities, too.

So, here’s your 5 minute grammar lesson: Possessive Pronouns

Possessive Pronouns

Most possessive pronouns are easy:

Her car is blue.
His hat is big.
Their house is in the country.
The book is ours.
The rat is yours.

But, combine a possessive pronoun with a contraction and you’ve got a problem.

Which one is possessive: it’s or its?

ITS!!! is the winner. It’s is a contraction that always means “it is.” Pronouns NEVER get apostrophes to show possession. It’s contrary to logic, since nouns need apostrophes to show possession.

However, pronouns are the exception – never use an apostrophe to make a pronoun possessive.

Make sense? 🙂


  1. Ah yes, one of my many pet peeves! Thanks for addressing this! May I point out that "it's" can also be a contraction of "it has" as in "It's been too long since we last saw you here in Florida!" :)

    Indeed, how do you combine a possessive pronoun with a contraction? That IS a problem!

    Interestingly, wikipedia says that "its" is rarely used as a possessive pronoun as it almost always functions as a possessive adjective. Hmmm....
  2. Which one would you like me to talk about next time? ;-) I'm thinking I will address "Iowa-isms" like, "She went acrossed the street." Or, "I wish I would have went to Florida when I had the chance..."

  3. No, no, you mean "I wish I would OF went to Florida!" LOL That one always makes me cringe! I hate acrossed. I'm afraid those aren't exclusive to Iowa. How about affect/effect? Or if you really want to cause a stir, how about you just tackle a topic like circumcision or vaccination or homebirth? ;-)

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