Difference Between Possessive Pronoun and Possessive Adjective

Main Difference – Possessive Pronoun vs Possessive Adjective

Possessive pronouns and possessive pronouns can be easily confused terms as both refer to possession. Possessive adjectives describe and modify its preceding noun and indicate the ownership. Possessive pronouns are used to replace a noun or a noun phrase. This is the main difference between a possessive pronoun and possessive adjective.

What is a Possessive Pronoun

Possessive pronouns indicate possession or ownership. They indicate to whom or what something belongs to. The main purpose of using possessive pronouns in a sentence is to avoid repetition. Since possessive pronouns can replace nouns or noun phrases, they can avoid repetition.  Here are the possessive pronouns in English:

Mine  Yours  His  Hers  Ours  Theirs

Example 1

This is her car; this is my car.→ This is her car; this is mine.

Example 2

Can I use your car? Mine is broken. →Can I use your car? Mine is broken.

In the above examples, you can see how possessive pronouns replace nouns to avoid repetition. You’ll also note that possessive pronouns can be used as both subjects and objects.

In the first example, the possessive adjective acts as the object whereas in the second example, it acts as the subject. Given below are some more examples of possessive pronouns.

She has lost her umbrella, so I lent her mine.

This is not my book. Is this yours?

The dress I’m wearing is actually hers.

Main Difference - Possessive Pronoun vs Possessive Adjective

This car is mine.

What is a Possessive Adjective

A possessive adjective is an adjective that indicates the possession. It indicates the ownership of the noun it follows. Their main function is describing to whom something belongs to. Given below is a list of possessive adjectives in English.

My  Your  His  Her  Its  Our  Their

As mentioned above, possessive pronouns are immediately followed by a noun or a noun phrase.

I borrowed her car.

I don’t agree with his ideas.

She won’t proceed with the plan without your consent.

She introduced her brother to us.

He needs my signature on those papers.

She respected her parents and accepted their decision.

Adjectives do not have singular or plural versions. We use the same adjective for both singular and plural.

My friend

My friends

Since both possessive pronouns and possessive adjective refer to the ownership, both can be used to bring out the same meaning.

This is my book. = This book is mine.

That is our house. = That house is ours.

Difference Between Possessive Pronoun and Possessive Adjective

This is my book.

Difference Between Possessive Pronoun and Possessive Adjective


Possessive Pronouns replace nouns and noun phrases.

Possessive Adjectives modify nouns and noun phrases.

Word List

Possessive Pronouns include mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, and theirs.

Possessive Adjectives include my, your, his, her, its, our and their.


Possessive Pronoun can act as subjects or objects.

Possessive Adjectives act as modifiers.


Possessive Pronouns are not followed by a noun.

Possessive Adjectives are followed by a noun.Difference Between Possessive Pronoun and Possessive Adjective - infographic

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