I was doing a grammar exercise in the book Mastering Advanced English Language by Sara Thorne. Now, the exercise consisted of a paragraph of text where the reader has to label the pronouns in the text under various headings. When I checked the answers the pronouns "our", "their" and "my" were not listed as possessive pronouns - "ours", "mine" and "hers" were. Aren't these first set of pronouns (our, their, my) and the others like them (eg. your) still possessive pronouns, just in different forms, or not?

  • Your are right. They are genitive (possessive) pronouns, the dependent kind that require a following noun, e.g. "This is our house". The other items you mention, "ours", "mine" and "theirs", are also genitive pronouns, but of the independent subclass, the kind that do not require a following noun, e.g., "This house is ours". Genitive pronoun is the word category (part of speech) for all those items, though we usually consider them subclasses of the larger category noun. – BillJ Apr 7 '18 at 16:44

Now worries! Found out these words (my, your, his, her, its, our, their) are actually possessive determiners.

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    You're conflating word category (part of speech) and function. Categories are noun, adjective, verb etc., while functions are subject, object, complement, determiner etc. The items that you cite are genitive (possessive) pronouns functioning as determiners – BillJ Apr 7 '18 at 16:44

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