How To Teach Possessive Pronouns | A Step By Step Guide

How To Teach Possessive Pronouns

Teaching possessive pronouns? Then this guide is for you! Students often have difficulty when they first learn about possessive pronouns. However, after practicing with lots of examples, exercises, and games, students are able to master possessive pronouns relatively easily.

Ideally, possessive pronouns should be taught once students have learned how to build basic English sentences and understand object pronouns and subject pronouns. The main goal when teaching possessive pronouns is to help students understand that they are used to indicate possession or ownership in a sentence. In addition to this, it is important to show students how they can use possessive pronouns to avoid repeating themselves in a sentence and thus sounding more natural.

How To Teach Possessive Pronouns – 5 Easy Steps

Follow the steps listed below to teach possessive pronouns to your students quickly and effectively.

Step 1: Explain Possessive Pronouns

The first step is to explain to your students what possessive pronouns are and why you need to use them. You can use the following definition:

Definition: A possessive pronoun is a part of English speech that explains the possession or ownership of something to someone.

Just like any other pronoun, a possessive pronoun can eliminate the repetition of a noun (and sometimes possessive adjective) from a sentence. For example,

This book is my book, not your book.

This sentence is grammatically correct, but it sounds a bit odd because of the repetition of the noun (book). Using a possessive pronoun in this sentence will make it sound better and more natural. For example,

This book is mine, not yours.

In this sentence, the words “mine” and “yours” are possessive pronouns. As you can see, by using these possessive pronouns, we are able to avoid repeating the noun “book“, and so it sounds more natural.

Step 2: Introduce All Possessive Pronouns

Once you have explained to students what possessive pronouns are and how they are used, it’s time to show them all the different possessive pronouns. The following table shows all the possessive pronouns that you should teach to students:

Possessive PronounSingular or Plural

Step 3: Give Examples

After explaining the definition and types of possessive pronouns, the next step is to give lots of examples. This will help your students to understand the correct way to use this part of speech in a sentence. Here are some example sentences that contain possessive pronouns:

“This cat is mine.” In this sentence, the possessive pronoun is ‘mine’, and it replaces the phrase ‘my cat’, which otherwise will lead to repetition.

“This house is ours.” Here the possessive pronoun is ‘ours’, and it shows the plural ownership of the house.

“I believe this car is yours.” The possessive pronoun ‘yours’ in this sentence implies second-person ownership of ‘car’.

“This laptop is hers.” Here the possessive pronoun ‘hers’ shows the ownership of the laptop.

“I think this building is theirs.” This sentence has ‘theirs’ as a possessive pronoun, and it shows the building belongs to multiple people.

Step 4: Play Possessive Pronoun Games

One of the best ways to help students practice and use possessive pronouns correctly is to play interactive games with them. There are many games that you can play with your students. Here are two such games:

“Whose Is It?” Game

This first game is great for teaching possessive pronouns to kids. There are ten rounds, and in each round, students are asked, “Is this yours?” and are shown a picture of an object. They must then choose either “Yes, it’s mine” or “No, it’s not mine.“. After making their choice, the picture of the object disappears to reveal the points below. The student with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.

This game is one of our many activity videos. You can see all our ESL Game Videos here.

Possessive Pronoun Race

This next activity is another great game for teaching possessive pronouns. Here’s how to play:

  1. Create a set of seven cards and write down all the pronouns on them.
  2. Create another set of seven cards where each card contains a sentence using possessive pronouns.
  3. Divide your entire class into multiple groups of two students.
  4. Call the first group up to the front of the class, next to the teacher’s desk.
  5. Spread out all the cards with possessive pronouns on the desk face up. Make sure that both students can see the possessive pronouns clearly.
  6. Now, from the pile of cards you have, read the first sentence without the possessive pronoun.
  7. The students will need to listen to the sentence carefully and race to pick up the correct possessive pronoun card from the desk. The first student to grab the correct card will win the sentence.
  8. Read all the sentences, and the student who has more possessive cards will win the game.
  9. Repeat with other students until all pairs of students have had a chance to play.

Step 5: Possessive Pronouns Quiz

The final step to teach possessive pronouns is to quiz the students to review the lesson in a fun way. Create a fun quiz by writing the questions on the board or creating a worksheet. Alternatively, you can find a ready-to-use possessive pronouns quiz here. If you are making your own quiz, there are many types of questions you can use. Here are some examples:

Identify the Possessive Pronoun

  • This book is yours. (yours)
  • This smart dog is ours. (ours)

Multiple Choice Questions

I gave Amanda my phone number, and she gave me ___?

  1. (yours)
  2. (mine)
  3. (ours)
  4. (hers) (correct)

Fill in the Blank Questions

  • Have you seen David? I think this pen is ___. (his)
  • This house belongs to Zara and Ben, it’s ___. (theirs)

Related Resources

Thanks for reading! I hope you found this guide to teaching possessive pronouns useful. Before you go, check out the related resources below that you may find useful:

Possessive Pronoun Quiz
Pronoun Quiz
Pronoun Worksheets
Demonstrative Pronouns Lesson Plan