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Suppose I'd like to refer to a car owned by my neighbor. I write this as "That's Mr. Johnson's (my neighbors) car". Should I write the extra "my neighbor" in it's genitive form?

Sorry if the title seems messy, but I couldn't think of a good way to put it. An edit would be appreciated.

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I don't know the official answer to this. However, don't do what I heard in the park the other day: "That's Mr. Johnson and I's car". –  Ryan Reich May 10 '11 at 17:51
    
You write: "That's Mr. Johnson's car" and if someone asks: "Who is Mr.Johnson?", you reply: "Mr.Johnson is my neighbor". –  Gigili May 10 '11 at 18:17
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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I think you can use

That's Mr. Johnson's (my neighbor) car.

What's in the parentheses is for clarification of who Mr.Johnson is, not who the car belongs to.

A better way to do this is

That's my neighbor, Mr. Johnson's car.

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Good point. But what if I'd write: "Mr. Johnson/my neighbor"? When I think about it, I guess that would be the same thing as possesive with several names? –  Shathur May 10 '11 at 17:36
    
"That's Mr.Johnson's/my neighbor's car." I think. But, I'm really not sure, that's strange. –  MikeVaughan May 10 '11 at 17:38
    
Or, what would happen if I wanted to write "That's my neighbor, Mr. Johnson's car." I guess that it would then be correct to just use possessive in the actual name. –  Shathur May 10 '11 at 17:43
    
Yes, the example you cited, is correct. Also, I think it's better. –  MikeVaughan May 10 '11 at 17:46
    
As always, the best solution to a linguistic problem is to find another way (i.e. rephrase). ^^ But this question is hypothetical. I have no real reason to actually solve the problem (to be able to use it). I want to know the rules (if any!) for this specific situation. –  Shathur May 10 '11 at 17:55
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