What is the difference between ‘hers’ and ‘her own’?


When we use her own, his own, my own, their own, etc., it can give the overall sentence a slightly different meaning compared to using other pronouns such as his, hers, their, mine, your etc. Below I will explain the slight differences the phrase her own or his own can make to a sentence.
First of all, we can use her own or his own to emphasise somebody’s ownership or possession of something.
For example:

  • “That’s my own problem, that has nothing to do with you!” the angry politician shouted to a nosy reporter.
  • The students decided to discuss their own findings with their professor. As they wanted to compare the professors research, to help them see if they were on the right track.
  • The photographer has his own camera, he has owned the camera for four years.

His own, their own, my own etc. can also be used to indicate that something was achieved, built or done by somebody. It is usually used to demonstrate a sense of pride or honour.
For example:

  • His great grandfather built their family home with his own bare hands.
  • “This is her own company, Ms. Stevenson started this company after she graduated from college. It has been running for seventy years this year” the secretary informed a potential client.
  • Karen would like to run her own restaurant but for now she is happy working as a chef in an Italian restaurant.

We can also use his own, her own, their own etc. when the object or characteristic trait is particular to the person or thing.
For example:

  • Sketching while listening to music is his own way of dealing with a stressful situation.
  • New York City has its own special atmosphere and character. There is nowhere else like the Big Apple.
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