Possessive Adjectives and Demonstrative Adjectives: Better Approach

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In the previous article, we discussed possessive pronouns and demonstrative pronouns. The major difference between possessive pronouns and demonstrative pronouns are used to replace nouns while possessive adjectives and demonstrative adjectives qualify the nouns. The following approaches are better in teaching and learning possessive adjectives and demonstrative adjectives.

Possessive Adjectives

Possessive adjectives are categories of pronouns in forms that function as adjectives. They

qualify nouns in sentences. Some of the possessive adjectives include his, her, your, their, its,

our, my, etc. Possessive adjectives can take the position of the subject, object, or complement in a sentence. Examine the following illustrations:

1. Possessive adjectives as well as the nouns they qualify in the positions of subjects, e.g.

(i)         Your suggestions will be taken into consideration.

(ii)        Its  tail is long.

(iii)       Their effort seems sterile.

(iv)       His body system was frail.

(v)        My school is great.

We can infer in the examples above that those possessive adjectives and the nouns they qualify occur in the object positions of the sentences.

(i)         Your qualifies the noun suggestions.

(ii)        It qualifies the noun tail.

(iii)       Their qualifies the noun effort.

(iv)       His qualifies the noun body system.

(v)        My qualifies the noun school.

2. Possessive adjectives as well as the nouns they qualify in the positions of objects, e.g.

(i)         We love our family.

(ii)        Bola always disrespects her brother.

(iii)       Those children tricked their father.

(iv)       I cut off its branches.

It is established in the examples above that the possessive adjectives as well as the nouns they qualify occur in the object positions of the sentences.

(i)         Our qualifies the noun family.

(ii)        Her qualifies the noun brother.

(iii)       Their qualifies the noun father.

(iv)       Its qualifies the noun branches.

3. Possessive adjectives as well as the nouns they qualify in the positions of complements, e.g.

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(i)         That man is my uncle.

(ii)        Those are your shirts.

(iii)       It was his money.

(iv)       These are our uniforms.

It is also established that the possessive adjectives as well as the nouns they qualify function as complement of a sentence.

My qualifies the noun uncle.

Your qualifies the noun shirts.

His qualifies the noun money.

Our qualifies the noun uniforms.

4. Possessive adjectives are pre-modifiers of the headwords in phrases, e.g.

(i)         Their                 books                

(ii)        Her                  view

(iii)       His                   experience

(iv)       My                   verdict

(v)        Yours              parents

(vi)       Our                  people

Noun phrases are realised when possessive adjectives are used with nouns. Consider the examples above and the functions below.

Their pre-modifies books and become their books.

Her pre-modifies view and become her view.

His pre-modifies experience and become his experience.

My pre-modifies verdict and become those people.

Your pre-modifies parents and become your parents.

Our pre-modifies people and become our people.

Demonstrative Adjectives

Demonstrative adjectives are types of pronouns in forms, but they function as adjectives because they qualify the nouns they precede, Demonstrative adjectives are of four types: this, that, these, and those.

In well-formed sentences, demonstrative adjectives can take the position of subject, object, or complement. Let’s examine the illustrations below.

1. Demonstrative adjectives as well as the nouns they qualify in the positions of subjects, e.g.

(i)         This boy is arrogant.

(ii)        These students are well-mannered.

(iii)       That man always drives recklessly.

(iv)       Those politicians were obstinate.

In the sentences above, demonstrative adjectives as well as the nouns they qualify occur in the subject positions of the sentences. Consider the functions of demonstrative adjectives below.

This qualifies the noun boy.

These qualifies the noun students.

That qualifies the noun man.

Those qualifies the noun politicians.

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It should be noted that the demonstrative adjective this and that are singular forms. So, they must be followed by singular nouns. For example:

(i)         This lady, but  don’t say: this ladies

(ii)        That book, but don’t say: that books

Demonstrative adjectives these and those are plural forms; then they must qualify only plural forms. For example:

(i)         These ladies, don’t say: these lady.

(ii)        Those books, don’t say: those book

2. Demonstrative adjectives as well as the nouns they qualify in the positions of objects, e.g.

(i)         Sade rocked that young boy.

(ii)        I couldn’t buy those ideas.

(iii)       That lecturer accents this topic so much.

(iv)       The bus battered these children.

In the sentences above, demonstrative adjectives as well as the nouns they qualify occur in the object position of the sentences. These demonstrative adjectives function as follows:

That qualifies the noun phrase, young boy.

Those qualifies the noun ideas.

This qualifies the noun topic.

These qualifies the noun children.

3. Demonstrative adjectives as well as the nouns they qualify in the positions of complements, e.g.

(i)         They are those people I am talking about.

(ii)        Here is this boy.

(iii)       There was that woman.

(iv)       Under the shelf are these materials.

The demonstrative adjectives in the examples above are used with the nouns they qualify to complete the sentences in which they appear. They function are as follows:

(i)         those qualifies the noun people.

(ii)        this qualifies the noun boy.

(iii)       that qualifies the noun woman.

(iv)       these qualifies the noun materials.

Do not be confused about sentences (ii), (iii), and (iv). Certain adverbials or prepositional phrases may be fronted.

Therefore, the sentences can be pointed to the following:

(i)         Here is this boy may change to this boy is here.

(ii)        There was that woman may change to that woman was there.

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(iii)       Under the shelf are these materials may change to these materials are under the shelf.

4. Demonstrative adjectives as pre-modifiers of the headwords in phrases, e.g.

(i)         This           house                      

(ii)        That                 car

(iii)       These         children

(iv)       Those         people

Noun phrases are realised when demonstrative adjectives are used with nouns. Consider the examples above and the functions below.

This pre-modifies ‘house’ and become this house.

That pre-modifies car and become that car.

These pre-modifies children and become these children.

Those pre-modifies people and become those people.

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