A possessive form (abbreviated POSS) is a word or grammatical construction used to indicate a relationship of possession in a broad sense, which might be ownership (e.g., my car) or a similar concept.
In English, possession can be indicated using a possessive pronoun such as my, your, our, their, or by the possessive suffix ‘s.
- My head hurts
- John’s car is red – note that the possessive marker is on the noun of the one who possesses the thing, not the thing that is possessed.
- That book is yours
Indigenous Australian languages may use different ways to indicate possession. Some languages distinguish between things which cannot be separated from their owner, such as body parts – this is called inalienable possession. These would be marked with different forms than things which can be separated from their owner – consider the difference between your head and your book.
Note that the term genitive is often used to discuss possession.