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Can I say "Please find my yesterday’s and today’s daily reports in the documents."?

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3 Answers

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No, you cannot say "Please find my yesterday’s and today’s daily reports in the documents."

You can say:

Please find yesterday’s and today’s daily reports in the documents. (as suggested by Steve Melnikoff)

Or, you can also say:

Please find my daily reports from yesterday and today in the documents. (as suggested by Bruno Rothgiesser)

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No.

In general English disallows using two different direct possessives together in the some noun phrase. Using possessive my and possessive tomorrow's to modify the word reports results in a sentence that I find ungrammatical. One of the possessives must be demoted to a prepositional phrase, and since my cannot be so demoted (since *of me is ungrammatical for other reasons), you have to move tomorrow to a prepositional phrase:

Please find my daily reports from yesterday and today in the documents.

(This is the same corrected version that Bruno gave, but unlike Bruno I find the original to be ungrammatical, and the corrected version to be necessary, not just stylistically preferred.)

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Yes, because:

  1. You can use a possessive pronoun followed by a word with 's (i.e. the saxon genitive). For example, "my last year's tax refund".

  2. You can use 's in more than one word in the same sentence. For example, "Here you can review yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's horoscope."

Having said that, I would reword your sentence to make it sound more natural:

Please find my daily reports from yesterday and today in the documents.

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Or omit "my": Please find yesterday’s and today’s daily reports in the documents. –  Steve Melnikoff Nov 11 '10 at 16:47
    
Point #1 is not valid for this case, because in your example, my is modifying sister, but in the question, my is attempting to modify daily reports, going around the genitive, which is not grammatical. I'm surprised it doesn't just sound ungrammatical to you. –  Kosmonaut Nov 11 '10 at 16:48
    
@Kosmonaut, I agree that point #1 is not a good example. I'm changing the example in my post. However, that does not make the sentence ungrammatical. It just does not sound natural. –  b.roth Nov 11 '10 at 17:03
5  
@Bruno: Native speakers don't write such sentences, and it doesn't follow prescribed rules either. Is there another metric you are using to determine grammaticality? If I saw a sentence like the one in the question, or the one in your answer, I would assume the person was a non-native speaker. –  Kosmonaut Nov 11 '10 at 18:22
    
yeah it sounds ungrammatical to me too –  Claudiu Nov 11 '10 at 18:55
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