A possessive pronoun
is a part of speech
that attributes ownership to someone or something. Like all other pronouns
, it substitutes a noun phrase
and can prevent its repetition. For example, in the phrase, "These glasses are mine, not yours", the words "mine" and "yours" are possessive pronouns and stand for "my glasses" and "your glasses," respectively.
There are seven possessive pronouns in modern English: mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, and theirs, plus the obsolete possessive pronoun thine. The clitic -'s also works as a possessive pronoun such as John's.
For a more complete list, see the full list of English pronouns.
Some languages have neither possessive pronouns nor possessive adjectives, and express possession by declining the personal pronouns in the genitive or possessive case, or by using possessive suffixes. In Finnish, for example, minun ("I's"), means "mine" or "my".
Determinative and independent possessive pronouns
Some call possessive adjectives determiners
, and not pronouns. Others call them determinative possessive pronouns and call the possessive pronouns described above independent possessive pronouns
, because they constitute full noun sentence and don't depend on a noun
. For example, while my
must be followed by a noun such as glasses
in "my glasses", mine
already subsumes such a noun.