The possessive form of the pronoun “her” is a lot different than your usual noun forms. This article won’t follow many of the expected rules that you’ll want to see from a possessive form article, but we’ll still help you to understand how “hers” works.
Hers or Her’s or Hers’: Which Is The Correct Possessive Form?
“Hers” is the only correct possessive form for the pronoun “her.” We use it when the owner of an already specified item is “her” or a “she.” We don’t need the apostrophe like we usually would for the possessive forms of other nouns.
At this point, we’d usually share the singular and plural forms of the word. However, there is no way we can refer to a plural of “her.” Instead, we can only show you the following information:
Most nouns add an “S” to the end of the word when turning them into the plural form. However, this is not the case for the pronoun “her.” Instead, we add an “S” to the end for the possessive.
We also completely ignore the apostrophe rule. It’s not one of those things that’s correct in some cases and incorrect in others. “Her’s” is always incorrect, and you should never use it.
So, we’ve explained how “hers” is the only correct form. Now it’s time to look a little closer at how it works and how you can use it to your advantage in your writing.
“Hers” is the possessive form of “her.” It works when a woman possesses a particular object in the sentence. The object is usually already stated before writing “hers,” which differs from most expected possessive form rules. If the object comes after, we usually keep the possessive as “her.”
“Hers” isn’t like other possessive forms. The object never comes after “hers” like it would other nouns (i.e. “Jack’s bag”). Instead, we change the possessive to “her” when we want the object to come after it. We can see that (and all other likely variations) in the following:
- The bag is hers
- It is her bag
- The bag belongs to her
The item comes first when we include words or phrases like “is” or “belongs to” before them.
In most cases, the object (“bag”) will come before the possessive form “hers” or “her.” There is one case (in example 2), where “her” comes first, but you’ll notice that this isn’t the same possessive form. Both “her” and “hers” can work as the possessive in a sentence.
- The handbag was hers, so I made sure to return it when I saw her next.
- It was her idea, and I don’t want to try and steal it!
- This bag is not hers, and I hope you don’t try and give it back to her.
- You don’t have anything that belongs to her in your possession, but thank you for looking.
- This watch is hers, and I think it’s best if you return it.
- This television is hers, but she lent it to me while she was out of town.
“Hers” is the correct possessive form of the pronoun “her.” However, the object we’re talking about should always come before the pronoun in this case.
“Her’s” is wrong. There is no place for it in English, and there are no exceptions. We do not include the apostrophe in the possessive form of “her.” It does not use an object directly after it, so “her’s” is always wrong.
If “her’s” was correct, we’d be able to write the following:
- Her’s watch
- Her’s house
Since these subject and object combinations are incorrect, it shows that “Her’s” is wrong (unless you have a female character in a creative novel called “Her,” in which case, it would be correct).
Still, assuming you don’t have a character called “Her,” you can refer to these correct and incorrect examples:
- Correct: Which of these books is hers?
- Incorrect: Which of these poems is her’s?
- Correct: How do we get to hers from here?
- Incorrect: This house is her’s.
Much like “her’s,” there is no place for “hers'” in English. In fact, it’s even more grammatically incorrect than “her’s” because it implies that there is a plural form of “her.”
“Hers'” is incorrect because we never add an apostrophe to the end of “hers.” If this was a correct form, it would be the possessive form of the already possessive word “hers,” which wouldn’t make any sense.
We told you in the introduction that this article doesn’t follow the expected rules you’d find in most possessive articles. “Her” isn’t a common noun that follows common rules. It’s a pronoun, and we need the correct pronoun rules to get it right.
Again, you can look at these examples to see how “hers” is the only correct form.
- Correct: This dog isn’t hers, so don’t give it back to her!
- Incorrect: I can’t find the phone that is hers’.
- Correct: Which of these children is hers?
- Incorrect: We don’t know what one of these is hers’.
Quiz: Have You Mastered Hers or Her’s or Hers’?
This quiz should be quite easy for those of you who have been paying close attention. There is only one correct answer, and you can always compare them at the end to make sure you’ve completely understood it.
- I can’t find the drink that is supposed to be (A. hers / B. her’s / C. hers’).
- Which of these coats is (A. hers / B. her’s / C. hers’)?
- We should go to (A. hers / B. her’s / C. hers’) before the end of the night!
- This watch is (A. hers / B. her’s / C. hers’), and you should be the one to give it back.
- This cat is (A. hers / B. her’s / C. hers’), but I still don’t like him very much!
“Her” is a pronoun that requires no apostrophes in the possessive form. It doesn’t follow standard possessive rules at all, which is why “hers” is the only valid option and the only grammatically correct one you should use. No other pronoun forms are correct for “her.”
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Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.