This tutorial will cover possessive pronouns.

Possessive pronouns are used to show ownership, but they never have an apostrophe because they are away from the nouns they are referencing.

Notice that some forms of the possessive adjective and possessive pronoun are the same (such as his, hers and its for example). Remember, possessive pronouns are used to replace the noun. Possessive adjectives are used to describe the noun. So, you have to look at how they are used in the sentence. This chart shows the first row of pronouns that are used before nouns and would act as possessive adjectives.

For example:

Our award was for winning the contest.  the pronoun our is right before the noun making it a Possessive adjective. It tells which award: our award.  

                His essay was the best. Which essay? His essay

                 Mary couldn't find her homework. Which homework? her

The second row of pronouns are used away from the noun it’s replacing which makes them possessive pronouns.

Look at this sentence:

The award for winning the contest is ours. The possessive pronoun is the word ours which is showing ownership of the noun award. It is away from the noun and doesn’t contain an apostrophe.

Possessive pronouns can also be subject or object pronouns.

                 Subj possessive pronoun

Look at these pictures. Mine is the big one.  

Notice how the first sentence identifies the noun, pictures. You wouldn’t want to say, “Look at these pictures. Mine is the big picture.” So we will replace the noun picture with one, to avoid repetition.  Mine is the possessive subject pronoun that is being used to show ownership. Remember that possessive pronouns will be away from the noun that they are referencing and in this case it can even be in another sentence. You can ask yourself, “What is mine?” the answer is picture.

Here’s another example

Their artwork is on display. Hers won first place. Artwork is the antecedent and Hers in the second sentence is the possessive pronoun that is functioning as the subject. You can ask yourself, “What belongs to her?” the answer is artwork.

Now Let’s take a look at how object possessive pronouns are used:

The dog is his. His is the possessive pronoun which is referring back to the noun, dog.

The brand new car is ours. Ours is the possessive pronoun which is referring back to the noun, car.