Learn English Grammar: Possessive Pronouns with Nas

“The World Is Yours” is the third single from Nas‘s debut album Illmatic, released a month after the album. It is considered by some music critics one of the greatest hip-hop songs ever recorded. The song was produced by Pete Rock—who also sings the song’s chorus—and samples “I Love Music” by Ahmad Jamal and “It’s Yours” by T La Rock. A remix of the song was produced by Q-Tip featuring similar but new lyrics; both it and the original were released by Columbia Records as singles, and promoted with music videos. It reached #13 on the Hot Rap Singles chart in 1994 and is now lauded as one of Nas’s best tracks. The song and its accompanying video pay homage to the film Scarface. “The World is Yours” is also known as one of the foundations of the Jay-Z vs. Nas feud because Jay-Z sampled it on his first single “Dead Presidents”, using one of Nas’s lines as the chorus (taken verbatim from Wikipedia).

I’m out for dead presidents to represent me.

Grammar: Possessive Pronouns

Whose world is this?
The world is yours. The world is yours.
It’s mine. It’s mine. It’s mine.

Mine, yours, his, hers, ours and theirs are possessive pronouns. They are very similar to possessive adjectives (my, your, his, her, our, their), but they are not used with a following noun.

  • This is my jacket. The jacket is mine.
  • I cannot find your phone. I found my phone, but I cannot find yours.
  • Can he borrow your car? His is broken.
  • He does not have his keys. Does she have hers?
  • They ordered dinner after us, but they got their food first. Why haven’t we gotten ours yet?
  • Your children are noisy, but their children are worse! At least you don’t have theirs.

Grammar Tips:

  • Do not use articles with mine, yours, etc.
    • Do you have your keys. I can’t find the mine.
    • This is not my jacket. This jacket is a yours.
  • We do not normally use its as a possessive pronoun.
    • I ate my lunch, and the dog ate its lunch, too.
    • I ate my lunch, and the dog its, too.

Writing Task

What does Nas mean when he says, “The world is yours” ? Do you think this is positive or negative? Is the world ours to share? Please write your ideas in the comments below! 

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  • HH2

    Hey there Stephen!
    I’ve been on a vacation past two weeks and I haven’t been able to drop comments but anyway I’m back!
    I suggested your cool website to my friends and they were really blown away by your awesome stuff! they told me to tell you that God bless you for being a great help to them.

    you rock man!
    Hamidreza, from Iran

    • ESLhiphop

      @disqus_HWh7AVtOCm:disqus!! So happy to hear from you, and I hope you had a great vacation. Thank you very much for telling your friends about my website and for all the nice words. :-) You are one of my biggest fans, and I really appreciate all the support you give me. I wish I knew 1 million hip-hop lovers like you!

      Please keep coming back, and if you have any suggestions so that I can make the website better, I would love to hear them!

      • HH2

        Many thanks for your kind words. We all greatly appreciate your efforts and taking the time to teach us real American English through Hip Hop music. This is the least we can do.
        We all are EslHipHop freaks, y’know!

        Have an A1 day!

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  • AnnyIngram

    learn english grammar possessive pronouns is so nice detail in this post i really get informative knowledge

    • ESLhiphop

      Thanks for the nice words, @annyingram:disqus!