English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

If Alice and Bob each has a house, are these "Alice and Bob's houses" or "Alice's and Bob's houses"?

Does that change anything if each of the houses belongs to both of them?

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

"Alice and Bob's houses" implies that Alice and Bob jointly own more than one house. "Alice's and Bob's houses" could also imply the same thing. However, it would more commonly be taken to mean "Alice's house[s] and Bob's house[s]". To remove all ambiguity and still retain a similar form to what you now have, I would suggest "Alice's house and Bob's house".

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.