Gerunds are nouns ending in -ing that are made out of verbs.
Fasting is good for you.
I like your cooking.
When it comes to the possessive, you need to distinguish between gerunds and -ing participles. When a gerund is used possessively, it needs an apostrophe.
Tania’s singing scared the children. (gerund)
The children never wanted to hear Tania singing again. (-ing participle)
The pronoun usage is more troublesome. Which sentences would you use?
She resents you being more successful.
She resents your being more successful.
I didn’t like him going without me.
I didn’t like his going without me.
In both examples, the second sentences are more grammatically correct, but I think many people would use the first sentences, especially in informal language.
However, you must use a possessive pronoun when the gerund is the subject.
My handwriting is poor.
Possessive pronouns are also known as the genitive case. They include my, mine, your, her, hers, its, our, their, theirs.
Subscribe to Mary Morel’s e-newsletter at the top of the page.
To learn more about grammar, register for one of Mary’s online grammar programs.