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Possessive Pronouns for Primary Schools Teachers

possessive pronoun
Possessive Pronouns are yet another category of word that primary schools have to learn under the UK national curriculum. Our blog gives teachers all the information they need to teach this subject.

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Table of Contents

What is a Pronoun?

Pronouns are words that take the place of a noun. 

So rather than say, “The boy’s ball bounced”, we can use the pronoun “his” as in, “His ball bounced”.

Examples of common pronouns include:  I, me, we, they, you, he, she, it, yours, himself and ourselves.

Types of Pronoun?.

There are a number of categories of pronoun including those in the primary national curriculum:

There are a number of categories of pronoun NOT in the primary national curriculum:

  • Reflexive pronouns (myself, himself, herself, yourself, themselves, itself, ourselves)
  • Reciprocal pronouns (each other, one another)
  • Demonstrative pronouns (this, that, those)
  • Interrogative pronouns (who, what, why, where, when, – used as a question)
  • Indefinite pronouns (anything, anybody, something, someone, nobody, none) 

What is a POSSESSIVE Pronoun?

A possessive pronoun indicates the owner of something. 

 

  • My bag is over there. 
  • My homework was excellent.
  • His lesson was graded outstanding. 

A list of all Possessive Pronouns.

  • my, 
  • your, 
  • his, 
  • hers,  
  • its,
  • our, 
  • yours,
  • their
  • mine,
  • yours,
  • his,
  • hers,
  • ours,
  • theirs

Never use an Apostrophe!

We know that apostrophes can be used to show possession (it belongs to something or someone). However, possessive pronouns, e.g. its, hers, yours, ours, theirs do not need an apostrophe; despite them showing possession. 

Professor David Crystal explains it in his book The Fight for English: How language pundits ate, shot, and left (Crystal 2006), pp. 134-135: 

Its is just as possessive as cat’s, but it doesn’t have an apostrophe. Why not? Because the printers and grammarians. never thought the matter through. They applied their rule to nouns and forgot about pronouns, thus creating an exception (along with the food is hers, ours, yours, theirs) without realizing it. And even if they had noticed, they wouldn’t have done anything about it, for it’s was already taken, as it were, as the abbreviation of it is.

Possessive Pronouns and the National Curriculum

possessive pronoun
Possessive pronouns feature in year 4 of the national curriculum appendix. Making reference to:  
Appropriate choice of pronoun or noun within and across sentences to aid cohesion and avoid repetition

Possessive Pronouns and SATs papers

Pronoun questions in the SATs papers come in a few flavours: 

1. Identify the pronouns: 

 

possessive pronoun sats paper
possessive pronoun and sats papers

2. add in a pronoun:

 

possessive pronoun and sats paper
pronoun sats paper

Possessive Pronouns Exercise

Underline the possessive pronouns in the story below: 

Last school year, my family and I visited my grandparents in Wales. We packed all our clothes and loads of games into the car quickly because it was raining and my mum drove what seemed like an age. I didn’t mind too much as I was allowed to play on my tablet in the back of the car. 

As we got closer to my grandparents house, the weather steadily improved and just before we arrived at their house my grandad called my mum and arranged to meet at a beach nearby as it was so warm and sunny. My grandma bought me an ice cream, which I ate really quickly. In fact, I ate it so quickly my grandma let me finish hers off!

My grandparents house is full of strange ornaments and trinkets from their holidays all over the world. They have little camels from Egypt, a cowboy hat from America, a boomerang from Australia and a golden cat that waves its arm from China. My grandad loved to let my sister and I choose an object and tell us the story behind it.  

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