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Uses of Possessive Case in English Grammar

Last updated date: 29th Feb 2024
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What is a Possessive Case?

Possessive forms are grammar formats that we employ to discuss possessions and relationships between persons and objects. Depending on how they are employed, they take on many forms. We need to refer to something that belongs to a person a number of times. "What's your name?", for example, is a straightforward question.

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We use the word 'your' to specify whose name we are referring to. The possessive case in English grammar can be singular or plural and even be categorised into speeches like noun, pronoun, reciprocal pronoun and possessive adjectives.

Categories for Possessive Forms

Now that you have learnt what is possession in grammar, let us learn the two main categories in which these possessive forms may appear. They are mainly Singular and Plural Possessive Forms.



For such forms an apostrophe + "s" is added to the end of the word. 

At the end of the plural, add an apostrophe. 

Example: Girl’s sketch pens.

Woman’s purse.

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Example: All girls’ (girl plural) school. 

Parents’ (parent plural) anniversary. 

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For the same belongings of two different people apostrophe + "s" can be added to the latter word.

For different possessions of different people apostrophe + "s" should be added at the end of each word.

For Example: Ali and Sara’s car ride was fun.

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Example: Karan’s and Kritika’s laptops were nowhere to be found. 

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 Different Types of Possessive Grammar




Possessive Noun

A noun that displays possession. 

An  irregular noun is one that, in its plural form, varies its spelling, such as "man" and "men."

The book’s cover is amazing.

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Possessive Pronoun

Same as a noun, the pronoun that shows possession is called a possessive pronoun.

Example: His, hers, ours, yours, mine, it’s, theirs, etc.

The dog is hers.

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Possessive Adjective

These possessives correspond to pronouns. 

Example: My, his, your, our, their, etc.

This is my computer.

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Possessive Questions

The word "whose" is used to find out who owns something.

Whose house is that?

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Possessive Case Rules

1. No apostrophe + "s" or even after the end of the word is required for possessive nouns. 

Example: What is yours is mine.

2. When two words are hyphenated apostrophe + "s" is added at the end. 

Example: My father-in-law’s birthday. 

Practice Questions

Write the correct form of possessive case sentences.

1. This pen belongs to my friend

It is my ______ pen.

A. friend’s

B. friends’

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Ans: Option A. friend’s 

2. Whose is this desk? 

Whose ______________?

A. this desk?

B. desk is this?

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Ans: Option B. desk is this?

3. Our daughter goes to a school just for girls. 

She goes to a ___ school.

A. girl’s

B. girls’

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Ans: Option B. girls’

Learn By Doing It Yourself

Write the correct form of possessive case sentences.

1. Whose are those bags?  

Whose _____________?

A. bags are they?

B. bags are those? 

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2. ______ mother gets along well with ____.

A. Their, yours

B. You, my

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3. That cat belongs to the family next door. 

It's my ___ cat.

A. neighbour’s

B. neighbours’

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FAQs on Uses of Possessive Case in English Grammar

1. What are some instances of possessive forms?

A possessive noun is a noun that indicates that someone owns something. Possessive nouns are usually formed by adding an apostrophe and the letters to the end of a word. For example: This is the puppy's toy. 

A possessive determiner or possessive adjective is a word like 'my' or 'her' that indicates who or what something belongs to or is related to in grammar. 's is appended to the possessive form of a name or word, as in 'Jenny's' or 'cat's'.

2. What role does an apostrophe play in a possessive noun?

The apostrophe has two purposes: it denotes possession and it indicates where letters have been dropped in contractions. Possession is indicated in the singular by the letter ‘s’, which is written immediately after the possessor. With pronouns, there is no apostrophe before the possessives.

3. How do you use possessive adjectives?

To express who owns (or 'possesses') something, we employ possessive adjectives. In front of a noun, a possessive adjective is employed (a thing). Take, for instance, it's your pen. To express possession or ownership of something, possessive adjectives are used. While we use words to refer to people, we do so in the context of a relationship rather than ownership. The possessive adjective must agree with the possessor rather than the owned object.