Pronouns and Possessives

Here are some simple grammar rules to use pronouns and possessive adjectives / possessive pronouns.

Pronouns

Pronouns replace nouns. You can use them to avoid repetition.

For example:

David is a doctor. He is a doctor. (He = David.)
Sarah is a lawyer. She is a lawyer. (She = Sarah.)

Two types of pronouns are subject pronouns, and object pronouns.

Subject pronouns are pronouns that replace the nouns which are the subject of the verb.

Object pronouns are pronouns that replace the nouns which are the object of the verb.

Subject pronouns

Subject pronouns are the subject of the verb.

I
you
he
she
it
we
they

For example:

John and Alice live in New York. They have a house in Brooklyn.

Alice is a lawyer. She loves her job.

John is a doctor. He works in a hospital.

Object pronouns

Object pronouns are the object of a verb. They come after the verb, and after prepositions.

Here's a list of subject and object pronouns:

I —– me
You —- you
He —- him
She — her
It —- it
We —- us
They —- them

I love David, and he loves me.
You and I are neighbours. I know you.
He is my friend. I like him.
She studies English. I teach her.
I like reading. I like it.
He helps Sarah and I. He helps us.
They are students. I teach them.

Here are examples of object pronouns after prepositions.

I'm going to the cinema tonight. Come with me.
Do you want to see the new film? Yes, I'll go to the cinema with you.
He helps me with English. I get help from him.
I want to buy a present for Diana. I want to buy a present for her.
We have two children. They live with us.
I don't want to speak to David and Robert. I don't want to speak to them.

Possessive adjectives

Possessive adjectives say who owns something. Because they are adjectives, they don't have a plural (or feminine / masculine) form. They link to the person who owns / has something: not the object.

Here's a list of subjects and possessive adjectives:

I — my
You — your
He — his
She — her
It — its
We — our
They — their

I have a car. My car is red.
You have a house. Your house is beautiful.
He is married. His wife's name is Carol.
She is married. Her husband is a chef.
It is a small company. Its profits are small.
We have one child. Our family is small.
They have a pet dog. Their dog is a Doberman.

Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns show who is the owner of an object, and replace the object.

For example:

I have a red car. It is mine.

Here's a list of possessive adjectives and possessive pronouns.

my — mine
your — yours
his — his
her — hers
our — ours
their — theirs

Your house is small. My house is bigger than yours. (= bigger than your house)
His car is big. But my car is bigger than his. (= bigger than his car)
I like her car. I like hers.
This is our car. This is ours.
This isn't our car. It's theirs. (=their car)

Pronouns and Possessives exercise

Click the Start button below to begin the exercise. For each question, select the missing word from the choices. Then click the arrow on the right to go to the next question.
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