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Topic 1: Possessives

There are two different types of possessives that we’re going to look at today: Possessive Nouns and Possessive Pronouns.

Add an apostrophe to express possession. This shows the relationship between the first and second noun is one of belonging or ownership.

Singular Noun (‘s)

  • Jacob‘s ladder
  • Thomas‘s doubt (Thomas is also technically correct, but MLA/APA prefers ‘s.)

Plural Noun (‘s)

  • The men’s dinner
  • Girls lunch


  • Sam and Sally’s children (They have the same children.)
  • Sam’s children and Beth’s children (They have different children.)

These do NOT use apostrophes.

  • Yours, His, Hers, Theirs
    • Examples: His friends said the money was theirs. Are the shoes yours?

Tip: Be sure to understand the difference between “It is” as a contraction and “its” the possessive pronoun for “it.”

  • Its engine is overheated. (Possessive)
  • It’s a great day for a drive. (Contraction)
Your Turn: Test Your Understanding

Think you’ve got a good grasp on how to use possessive pronouns? Test yourself!