Difference between Possessive Determiners And Possessive Pronouns

Jepulin Das Assistant Teacher, Satpakhali M.V.S., Rampur block
Jepulin Das

In lesson no. - 4, ‘Kindness’ of class -vii, the learners have been introduced with Possessive determiners in Activity 6 and 7 (Let’s practice some grammar, pg.no.48). While transecting the concept of possessive determiners, teachers may also explain the differences between possessive determiners and possessive pronouns which look almost similar and student very often get confused. To make their learning complete and concrete teachers can point out the below mention differences between possessive determiners and possessive pronouns.

  • From the lesson we have learnt that Possessive Determiners, are words that are placed before Nouns and indicate possession or ownership of the things denoted by the Nouns.

  Now, look at these sentences:

                     

1. These are Kashmiri vendors’ wares.        2. These wares are Kashmiri vendors’.

These two sentences basically indicate same meaning written in two different ways.

In both the sentences Kashmiri vendors’ is the Possessive Noun.

 

1. These are Kashmiri vendors’ wares.                        2. These wares are Kashmiri vendors’.    

                           Possessive Noun.                                                                                        Possessive Noun

In the first sentence -

                                 These are Kashmiri vendors’ wares.

 we can replace the Possessive Noun Kashmiri vendors’ by the word ‘their’ which we know is a Possessive Determiner and write as-

                                           These are their wares.

                                                                               

                                  1. These are Kashmiri vendors’ wares.

                                                           Possessive Noun

                                                    =   These are their wares.

                                                Possessive Determiner

But, in the second sentence  -

                                    These wares are Kashmiri vendors’.   

we will use the word ‘theirs’ which is a Possessive Pronoun to replace the Possessive Noun ‘Kashmiri vendors’’ and write as -

                                                                  These wares are theirs.

                                                                              

                                     These wares are Kashmiri vendors’.   

                                                                                Possessive Noun

                                                    = These wares are theirs.

                                                                               Possessive Pronoun         

The Possessive Determiner – ‘their’ and Possessive Pronoun – ‘Theirs’ both stand for the Possessive Noun ‘Kashmiri Vendors’. They both indicate possession. Even though they look apparently similar but they are not the same. There are some differences between Possessive Determiners and Possessive Pronouns. 

1. The Possessive Pronoun replaces the Possessive Noun and comes after a Noun. We know, Pronouns are words that replace Nouns in sentences. Possessive Pronouns basically work like the Pronouns by replacing the Nouns.  So, we can write -

                         2. These wares are Kashmiri vendors’.   

                                                    Noun          Possessive Noun

               as                       = These wares are theirs.

                                                                    Noun           Possessive Pronoun        

 Here, ‘theirs’ is a Possessive Pronoun as it replaces the Possessive Noun and comes after the Noun ‘wares’.

 On the other hand, the Possessive Determiners replaces a Possessive Noun but comes before a Noun to describe the Noun. They work like Adjectives to describe or qualify the Nouns before which they are placed. So, they are also known as Possessive Adjectives. So, we can write-

                                             These are Kashmiri vendors’ wares.

                                                                                                      Possessive Noun            Noun

                           as              =   These are their wares.

                                                                                     P. Det.        Noun

Here, ‘their’ is a Possessive Determiner as it comes before the Noun ‘wares’ and describes the Noun.

2. Possessive Pronouns give complete answer to the question ‘whose?’ So, if we put the question-

                                           Whose wares are these?

       Answer is       = Theirs.    

                                                        P. Pronoun

Here, the answer Possessive Pronoun ‘theirs’ in itself is a complete answer.

 

But, Possessive Determiner by itself provide incomplete answer to the question ‘whose?’ . It is always followed by a Noun to complete its meaning.

So, for the question-

                                Whose wares are these?

     Answer is               = Their wares.

                                                  P. Det.  Noun

Here, Possessive Determiner ‘their’ is followed by a Noun to complete the meaning.

Let’s look at the table to understand the concept even better

         POSSESSIVE DETERMINERS

            POSSESSIVE PRONOUN

      1st

        2nd

      3rd

       1st

        2nd

       3rd

Singular

 

 

Plural

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

Singular

Plural

my

 

 

 

 

 

mine

 

 

 

 

 

 

our

 

 

 

 

 

ours

 

 

 

 

 

 

your

 

 

 

 

 

yours

 

 

 

 

 

 

your

 

 

 

 

 

yours

 

 

 

 

 

 

her

 

 

 

 

 

hers

 

 

 

 

 

his

 

 

 

 

 

his

 

 

 

 

 

 

their

 

 

 

 

 

theirs