Questions about the possessive, one of several constructions that describe ownership or association between two objects.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

7
votes
5answers
8k views

“Thousand Dollars Worth” or “Thousand Dollars' Worth”. Is this a Possessive?

I was writing the following sentence: Five thousand dollars worth of equipment does not a professional photographer make. Apart from the other questionable syntax in this over-stylized sentence, ...
0
votes
1answer
315 views

Is it “the business'” or “the businesses” responsibility?

It's quite common in my company to make a distinction between "the business" and "the IT department". I think this is the correct way to write what I want: "It is the business' responsibility to set ...
9
votes
1answer
476 views

When did it become incorrect to use apostrophes with possessive pronouns?

I'm reading Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, and I notice that she invariably uses an apostrophe with possessive pronouns — in a way that would be considered incorrect now. For example: (Elinor is ...
3
votes
2answers
142 views

How to correctly refer to animal parts as food?

I have found little consistent in how animal parts used as food are named. How can I correctly refer to the tongue of ducks, the necks of ducks, or the ears of pigs? Do you like duck's neck? ...
0
votes
2answers
423 views

Should this noun used in a possessive sense be singular or plural?

Consider the following comment in a C++ source file: /* These members are documented with their associated property. */ Should the word property be singular or plural? Each member is associated ...
3
votes
2answers
234 views

Forbes' or Forbes's [duplicate]

Is it correct to say "Forbes' building was sold to NYU" or "Forbes's building was sold to NYU" ? Or perhaps both are correct?
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Questions about the subtleties of the genitive case

The AP style guide suggests that things like "Farmers Markets" or "Veterans Cemeteries" cannot "belong" to the members of the groups for which they were set up. I would posit that a thing for the use ...
1
vote
1answer
540 views

your/yours, her/hers etc [duplicate]

I am if sure if this sentence sounds correct or not, "you can tell Rachel that your and her hunch was right" For some reason my brain wants me to change the 'your' to 'yours'. Also should the 'hunch ...
7
votes
1answer
38k views

Yours vs. your's

Which is correct “Is that yours?” or “Is that your’s?”? I ask because it is possessive, so I would think it would be the latter, but I typically use and see the former usage. Are there particular ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

When do we use “of” rather than “ 's” to show possession? [duplicate]

It is a very simple word but I am quite confused when I write formal documents. I do not know exactly when to use the of rather than 's. For example: The value of the mean or The mean's value. ...
3
votes
1answer
272 views

Origin of plurals and possessives

What is the origin of English plurals and possessives? English plurals look more French plurals, but I am not sure that is where they come from. As for possessives, I don't know where they come from.
0
votes
1answer
780 views

Saxon Genitive vs. Adjective Noun (Model Parameters vs. Model's Parameters)

The suggestions in this same forum say that the use of the phrase "the car's antenna" is correct. Questions: Nobody mentioned the use of "the car antenna" -- which to me would be much more natural, ...
5
votes
2answers
165 views

“both of” + possessive, which noun does “both of” refer to?

Both of the boy's parents were happy with the new school. Is it proper English to say "both of the boy's parents", as in the above sentence, to mean "both parents of the boy"? Or do we have to ...
-1
votes
1answer
97 views

Use of the possessive apostrophe [closed]

Consider a person whose name is "Lehman". In the sentence "I read Lehman's documents." why is it "Lehman's" and not "Lehmans' " ?
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Origins of possessive pronouns

If apostrophe + s is the acceptable way of denoting a genitive in English, is it possible that possessive pronouns, such as hers, ours and yours, started life as possessive adjectives with apostrophe ...
1
vote
2answers
189 views

How does one write the possesive form of stock ticker symbols ending in “s”?

How does one write the possessive form of stock ticker symbols ending in "s"? These are neither acronyms nor initialisms (/TLAs). For instance, does one write RAS' earnings, or RAS's earnings?
3
votes
1answer
194 views

How to Construct an Unambiguous Joint Possessive that Follows a Verb?

How to Construct an Unambiguous Joint Possessive that Follows a Verb? I've read that when writing about multiple possessors who jointly posses a thing, the common practice is to add a Saxon-genitive ...
1
vote
1answer
189 views

Attributive or Possessive noun

In the following is it better to use a possessive noun with an apostrophe or an attributive noun without an apostrophe? The following list details the assumptions that have been made in ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Singular/plural possessive form of fish? [closed]

The singular form of fish is fish. The plural form of fish is also fish. What are their possessive forms?
2
votes
1answer
167 views

Job title + possessive case [duplicate]

Is the following construct (grammatically) correct? Swiss mathematician and physicist Leonhard Euler's contribution to number theory was [...] It sounds clumsy to me; however, this rewrite sounds ...
-2
votes
2answers
2k views

Plural possessive with compound subject [duplicate]

Is it "John and Becky's knowledge" or "John's and Becky's knowledge"?
-3
votes
1answer
866 views

Using the possessive apostrophe in formal English [closed]

I am writing an essay and my teacher told us to use "Formal Academic English". Would using a possessive apostrophe like "Obama's decision to.." be considered informal? Don't tell me to ask my teacher, ...
0
votes
1answer
79 views

“Near St. John's church” vs. “near the St. John's church” vs. “near the St. John church” [duplicate]

When it comes to churches and so on, which one is correct? Our hotel is near St. John's church. Our hotel is near the St. John's church. Our hotel is near the St. John church.
2
votes
1answer
782 views

“You and your” vs. “Your and your”

Which is correct, and why? identifying you and your competitors’ relative market performance or identifying your and your competitors’ relative market performance Each entity is in ...
6
votes
6answers
12k views

“Your and my [something]” vs “Yours and my…”

Prompted by comments against this question, I'd like some help figuring out why some people (myself included) prefer yours over the apparently more logical/grammatically consistent your in this kind ...
3
votes
1answer
287 views

Name, Conditions, and Pluralization of “Conscience' sake”

In some versions of the Bible, 1 Cor. 10:25 contains the phrase conscience' sake with no s following the possessive apostrophe of conscience, which does not end with s, as in: New American ...
3
votes
1answer
223 views

Gerund preceded by a genitive?

Is this sentence actually grammatical? You know your having a rough day when kittens don't even make you smile. The writer of this sentence may intend to mean you're instead of your but I'm just ...
4
votes
2answers
229 views

Usage of “of” in genitive: “The queen of England's crown” or “The queen's of England crown”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “My wife and I’s seafood collaboration dinner” What is the correct way of these two sentences? The queen of England's crown The queen's of England crown Strictly ...
0
votes
1answer
118 views

How to denote possession with “Bureau of Statistics” [duplicate]

When denoting possession with Bureau of Statistics, does one use "Bureau's of Statistics" or "Bureau of Statistics'"? E.g. according to the Bureau's of Statistics Consumer Price Index ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Apostrophe Usage with Arkansas [duplicate]

Currently, we are having an issue at work where we may not be able to tack on apostrophes to words programmatically, in order to make them possessive, because of certain edge cases; such as Arkansas' ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

Attribute of multiple entities

Which is the correct form of an attribute related to multiple entities? For example, which is the correct form of position? The position of the circle and of the square is wrong. The ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is a possessive noun a contraction?

I was told not to use contractions in an essay. My classmate wrote "the argument of Emily" but I preferred "Emily's argument". He disagreed and claimed "Emily's" is a contraction.
6
votes
4answers
28k views

What is the correct word to use instead of else’s?

If I am trying to say “That problem that belongs to someone else,” then what is the correct word to use in this sentence: That is someone else’s problem. My spell checker says else’s and elses ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

Does your name belong to you?

I'm having trouble deciding whether the word 'name' can be used possessively. Currently I'm thinking it's correct to say: Patients' names have been altered to provide anonymity However it just ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Should I answer the phone with “Mr. Beltz’s office” or “Mr. Beltz’ office”?

How would you pronounce the following when answering a phone for a boss whose last name is Beltz? Some people are saying Mr. Beltz’s office, pronouncing the extra s, and someone else thinks you should ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Possessives of a title in italics

If one writes a word in italics, say the name of a movie, and wants to put apostrophe s at the end to form the possessive, is the apostrophe s italicised with the title? Chinatown's or Chinatown's?
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Using possessive when talking about two [duplicate]

What's the correct form of writing this possessive sentence: Helena and my birthdays are coming. Helena's and my birthdays are coming. My and Helena's birthdays are coming. Any links about the ...
1
vote
1answer
563 views

Is it correct to say “a friend of X and mine” if both X and I know each other and the friend?

As I understand it, if X and Y independently have the same friend Z, we should write Z is a friend of X's and Y's but if X and Y collectively have Z as a friend (e.g., X and Y are a couple), ...
8
votes
3answers
305 views

“A similar hat to Jane” vs “A hat similar to Jane’s”

Of late I have noticed British people using the following sort of construct: John and Jane make such a cute couple because John always wears a similar hat to Jane. To my ear, that is ...
3
votes
1answer
148 views

How to use possessives apostrophes when the word ends with a symbol?

For example, if I want to say an account of Google+, is it the same as say a Google+'s account? In other words, are possessives formed in the same way as always, no matter whether the word ends in ...
2
votes
1answer
476 views

Possession in Compound Nouns [duplicate]

In a compound noun with a postpositive adjective, such as "Director-General" or "Court Martial," the noun is pluralized by using the plural form of the first word (i.e. "Directors-General" or "Courts ...
-2
votes
1answer
220 views

“during one of my girlfriend's games”

I was trying to say "During one of my girlfriend's soccer games..." The problem is when I spoke it, it could be interpreted as "Out of all of my girlfriends... during one of their games this ...
5
votes
1answer
237 views

Appositives with possessiveness?

I would like to say something like The boy, Adam's, favorite toy was a bike. What is the proper way to say this?
8
votes
6answers
4k views

Difference in pronunciation between “your” and “you're”?

I'm a native English speaker (Texas counts, I suppose), and I pronounce "your" to rhyme with "core", and "you're" to rhyme with "cure". Is it just me or did I pick this up somewhere?
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Does a person have two “masters’ degrees” or two “master’s degrees”? [duplicate]

When someone has more than one master’s degree, should these be described as have several masters’ degrees or several master’s degrees? In other words, which of these two applies: (singular) a ...
3
votes
3answers
418 views

Can “whose” refer to a first-person subject in the third person?

This question came from a friend. It is from a college entrance exam for non-native English speakers. Link the following sentences with "whose": I was a small kid. My classmates laughed at ...
49
votes
2answers
19k views

What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in “‑s”?

What is the possessive of a noun ending in ‑s? Are these both right, or is the second one wrong? the boys' books the boss' car
41
votes
6answers
5k views

When did it become correct to add an “s” to a singular possessive already ending in “‑s”?

According to my grammar book, but at variance to the answer to this question, the correct singular possessive if a word ends in ‑s is: James’s car The grammar book allows exceptions for ...
8
votes
1answer
922 views

What is the possessive form of “y'all”?

I generally hear y'alls's used as the possessive form, but I have also heard yourn. Since y'all is a colloquial pronoun, its possessive form is basically liberated from prescriptive linguistics which ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Should “two weeks vacation” be “two weeks' vacation” (possessive)?

I've always understood that the phrase "two weeks" usually turns to "two weeks'" when used as a modifier -- as in "I'm giving my two weeks' notice" or "I get two weeks' vacation" ("two weeks' holiday" ...