It's important for students to develop a clear understanding of what possessive nouns are and how they are used. This topic is so important that it's covered in both elementary and middle school. Use the possessive nouns exercises and the possessive noun worksheets provided below to help your students learn how to use possessive nouns correctly.
Students often confuse possessive nouns with plural nouns because both types sound the same when spoken and end with the letter "s." However, possessive and plural nouns have very different functions. They are also written differently.
- Plural nouns refer to multiple persons, places, things, or ideas, while possessive nouns indicate ownership.
- Possessive nouns are punctuated with an apostrophe ('), while plural nouns do not have an apostrophe.
You can recognize a possessive noun by its special ending, as most possessive nouns end with an apostrophe and "s." Here are a few examples in some sentences:
- Mary's dog was a beagle.
- The dog's teeth are sharp.
- Larry's hair is very long.
- I forgot my backpack at Janette's house.
- Do you know the doctor's phone number?
Once you have thoroughly covered possessive nouns with your students, encourage students to apply their skills by correctly selecting the appropriate word to complete a sentence.
Review each sentence and decide if it needs a possessive noun or a plural noun, then choose the correct form from the bold options provided.
- The dogs/dog's collar is blue.
- Aaron's/Aarons friend is named Adam.
- I really like my grandmothers/grandmother's cookies.
- I really like to drink soda using spiral straws/straw's.
- My brothers/brother's are twins.
The printable worksheet below includes the questions above, as well as five additional items. It's appropriate for elementary school students in third grade or beyond.
If you worked through the five in-article practice exercises, check your work against the correct answers.
After students have mastered the ability to select the correct version of a possessive or plural noun, based on what is needed in the sentence, it's time to move on to something a little more advanced.
Rewrite the prepositional phrases below so that they feature possessive nouns. The meaning of the phrase should not change.
the book of the teacher
the garden of my aunt
the house of my friend
the stripes of the zebra
the car of my sister
For a printable worksheet featuring the above practice items and five more items, download the worksheet below. It features a complete answer key. It's a great activity for upper elementary school students.
Possessive Noun Writing ExerciseClick to View & Download
If you worked though the practice items above, check your work against the answer key below.
the teacher’s book
my aunt’s garden
my friend’s house
the zebra’s stripes
my sister’s car
Once your students are able to complete the practice exercises above, they will have mastered the basics of possessive nouns. Next, it'll be time to evaluate their level of mastery with this possessive noun quiz.