Possessives in English

Possessives in English Espresso English

My cat’s name is Ginger.

When we want to show that something belongs to somebody or something, we can use possessives:

 

NOUN POSSESSIVE EXAMPLE
I my My name is Sandra.
you your Your new haircut looks great!
he his He broke his leg.
she her She sold her computer.
it its My car is old, so its engine isn’t very powerful.
we our Our apartment is on the fourth floor.
they their Candace and Marty named their baby girl Donna.
Mary Mary’s Mary’s phone number is 555-4321.
Joe Joe’s Joe’s favorite color is green.
the boy the boy’s The boy’s clothes are dirty.
parents parents’ My parents’ names are Patrick and Gloria.
cat cat’s My cat’s name is Ginger.
country country’s My country’s flag is red, white, and blue.

As you can see from its, cat’s, and country’s, it is not necessary to be a person in order to use a possessive. Here are more examples of using possessives with things:

  • Today’s meeting will be at 1 PM.
  • This website’s goal is to teach English.
    = The goal of this website is to teach English.
  • Who do you think this year’s skating champion will be?

Don’t confuse its (possessive) with it’s (contraction for “it is”)!

The cat ate it’s food
The cat ate its food.

Its illegal for a 17-year-old to buy alcohol.
It’s illegal for a 17-year-old to buy alcohol. 

Learn more: How to form possessives when the word already ends in S

Test your understanding of possessives in English with this quiz!


Possessives Quiz

Congratulations - you have completed Possessives Quiz. You scored %%SCORE%% out of %%TOTAL%%. Your performance has been rated as %%RATING%%
Your answers are highlighted below.
Question 1
"Have you been to any of the new restaurants on Main Street?"

"No. __________ prices are too high."

A
My
B
Its
C
Their
Question 1 Explanation: 
"Their" refers to "restaurants" - the prices of the restaurants are too high.
Question 2
These ______________ keyboards are broken.
A
computers's
B
computer's
C
computers'
Question 3
Where did you go on __________ last vacation?
A
you're
B
your
C
you
Question 4
Mary was ____________ mother.
A
Jesu's
B
Jesus'
C
Jesus's
Question 4 Explanation: 
When there is a name that ends with "s," we add ' but no extra s.
Question 5
My friend and I drive to work together because _________ offices are in the same neighborhood.
A
our
B
its
C
their
Question 6
I think you'll really like the new television - _________ screen is huge!
A
it's
B
your
C
its
Question 7
I think you'll like the new television. ________ screen is really big!
A
His
B
Its
C
Their
Question 8
My sister lost _________ glasses. Now she can't see anything!
A
his
B
their
C
her
Question 9
I don't feel well. __________ stomach hurts.
A
I'm
B
my
C
your
Question 10
Dan and Benny were late to ___________ first high school class.
A
his
B
its
C
their
Question 11
My ____________ toys are quite expensive.
A
children's
B
childrens's
C
childrens'
Question 11 Explanation: 
When the plural form is irregular, like child --> children, we add 's to make the possessive.
Question 12
We had a lot of cold days in January, but _____________ weather should be warmer.
A
February's
B
Februarys
C
Februarys'
Question 13
I can't eat Thai food. _________ too spicy for me.
A
Is
B
Its
C
It's
Question 14
Good news! John passed __________ driving test!
A
your
B
his
C
her
Question 15
"Do you know what ___________ favorite band is?"

"I'm not sure, but I think she likes rock music."

A
Maria's
B
John's
C
its
Question 15 Explanation: 
We know the correct option is "Maria's" because the answer to the question has "she"
Once you are finished, click the button below. Any items you have not completed will be marked incorrect. Get Results
There are 15 questions to complete.

Master the details of English grammar:

Possessives in English Espresso English

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