Do Possessive Pronouns Take Apostrophes?

A pronoun is a part of speech which stands in for a noun so the noun does not have to be repeated unnecessarily. A possessive pronoun shows ownership.

The pronouns below already show possession, that’s easy enough to see, but should you also add an apostrophe?

Normally when you want to show possession, you use an apostrophe. Example: This is Jenny’s book. (The book belongs to Jenny.)

But if you were talking to Jenny and said to her: This book is yours, should you add an apostrophe to the pronoun yours?

No, because the word yours already indicates that the item belongs to Jenny. It is a possessive pronoun.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common possessive pronouns:

  • my
  • mine
  • yours
  • ours
  • its
  • his
  • hers
  • whose
  • theirs

One possessive pronoun that usually confuses writers is its.

Sometimes we see this written as it’s, which is incorrect. It’s is a contraction meaning it is or it has. Its, without the apostrophe, only shows possession.


Kristy Taylor is a syndicated freelance journalist with articles and short stories strewn across all forms of media. She has written and published numerous books, and is the executive editor of KT Publishing, which encompasses several web sites. For free listings of short story competitions visit http://www.shortstorycompetitions.com

To contact Kristy, email her at mail@kristytaylor.com


This piece may NOT be freely reprinted. Please contact editor @ howtotellagreatstory.com for reprint rights.

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