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

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6
votes
1answer
17k views

What is the proper plural of “a series”? [closed]

In math, we use the term series a lot, and there are many types of series. How should I craft my sentence when I have three different ones in mind to talk about? Should I settle down for a less ...
4
votes
3answers
331 views

apostrophe that goes with a noun which precedes a phrase

Suppose you wanted to place a possessive apostrophe in this sentence: Billy, who goes to my school, favorite game is tag. I know it's not standard, but I can hear kids (or older) saying an s sound ...
5
votes
1answer
208 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?
5
votes
1answer
10k views

Plural possessive with separate posessions

When we refer to a house that belongs to a family, we say "family's house". Pluralizing family gives us "families". Referring to the houses of several families, we say "families' houses". Forming the ...
0
votes
1answer
320 views

“User's expertise” or “user expertise”?

What is the correct form when referring to the expertise of a user (e.g. in programming, writing)? user's expertise user expertise
6
votes
6answers
9k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
183 views

“Ear doctor's” vs “Ear doctor”

In one of Stephen King's books titled "On Writing" he writes: "The next week my mother called another taxi, we went back to the ear doctor's, and I found once more lying on my side with the absorbent ...
2
votes
3answers
469 views

Can an “s”-form plural follow an “s”-form possessive?

This is best described via an example. I believe this might be technically correct, but sounds clumsy: You need to look through all the chemicals shelves There are multiple shelves, of type ...
3
votes
2answers
525 views

Plurals and possessives of quoted words [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Marking plural of code words Pluralizing Keywords in Programming Languages After asking a number of questions on StackOverflow, I keep running into some of the same ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do we use 's when not abbreviating is/was?

I'm not English hence I don't know how this is called in the first place (that's why the title of this question should be changed) but what I'm referring to is this "s" used in English language to ...
3
votes
3answers
517 views

Adjective describing possession by someone else

Is there any adjective in English that would describe a quality of belonging or being in the possession of someone else who is not the speaker? In short, what adjective would you substitute for the ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

How do you make a word like “parent(s)” possessive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? "Please submit your and your parent(s)' federal tax returns." Is the possessive of "parent(s)'" correctly ...
-2
votes
4answers
1k views

What is a “Norman genitive”? [closed]

I have encountered such a term, and I have no idea what it is. Could it be 'of'?
3
votes
3answers
392 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What possessive pronouns do have an apostrophe?

I was explaining it's vs. its to someone the other day, and I said "None of the pronouns (his, hers, theirs, yours, its, whose, ...) has an apostrophe." Later I got to wondering whether that was ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Members’ Benefits vs Member’s Benefits [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Where should the apostrophe go in the word “beginners” in “beginners guide”? I’m currently developing a site which has a membership scheme which ...
18
votes
14answers
8k views

How to say “She/He is my girlfriend/boyfriend” without the possessive “my” [closed]

Is there a way to indicate that somebody is your girlfriend without using the possessive term my? I think saying She/He is my partner/other half is OK for married people, but it doesn't feel right for ...
2
votes
1answer
475 views

Plurals, Possesives, and Proper Nouns ending with 'S' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? I just took a grammar quiz in 10th grade English Honors, and one of the questions was very interesting to me. In ...
24
votes
9answers
3k views

Why is it usually “friend of his”, but no possessive apostrophe with “friend of Peter”?

As this NGram shows, we nearly always use the possessive form of personal pronouns for friend of mine/his/ours/etc. But when it comes to actual names, we prefer friend of Peter without the possessive ...
2
votes
0answers
418 views

Why do you think the Oxford English Dictionary modified their definition of “of?” [closed]

Of 'of': Expressing Possession and Being Possessed I would like to discuss changes made to the definition of 'of' in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) from the 1989 edition to the 2010 edition. ...
0
votes
2answers
567 views

Using the apostrophe when referring to a group

Consider these sentences. The first is as I sent it to an editor. The second is as the editor sent it back, corrected as he saw it. I almost sent it back with my first version, then added the 'from' ...
2
votes
3answers
819 views

Genitive case or noun as adjective

Is there any rule for when it is better to use genitive case or noun as adjective? I'm not sure if there is any difference in meaning in this example: The department of accounting The ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Proper use of possessives

If I wanted to talk about treasure owned by multiple explorers, how would I write it? The explorers' treasure. OR The explorer's treasure. Is the plural form of explorer considered ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

“Dad's corner” or “dads' corner”

Which is right: dad's corner or dads' corner? I see dad's corner used regularly so I am assuming that's right, but in my mind dad's is singular whereas the corner belongs to multiple dads as it's a ...
4
votes
2answers
291 views

Why do we use “its” for possessive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why doesn't “its” have an apostrophe? Generally, there is an apostrophe when someone possesses something: That's Gerald's cat. Gerald's cat is ...
6
votes
1answer
940 views

Why do we say “of mine/of his” instead of “of me/of him”?

He's a friend of mine. That's a car of his. Why do we use the possessive when the meaning would be the same while not using it (e.g. a friend of me and a car of him)? I thought maybe it is ...
8
votes
2answers
10k views

What is the correct syntax for a plural possessive of a word already ending in s? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? Before you vote to close as a duplicate, note that these two questions deal with similar issues to this, but none ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Proper way to handle plurals with “whose”

I came up (re)phrasing a question like this : What's so special about directories whose name begins with a dot? But now, I'm wondering whether this is correct handling of plurals or not. Should ...
2
votes
2answers
686 views

“Project's status” or “project status”

Should I say the project's status or the project status?
2
votes
1answer
303 views

“List of tasks” or “tasks' list”

Which of these forms is better: list of tasks or tasks' list? Another question is whether I should use an apostrophe or not (tasks's list vs tasks list). Other phrases which are similar to this, but ...
3
votes
0answers
80 views

How to use “my” correctly in a plural possessive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “my wife and I's” correct, or should it be “my wife's and my”? Are the following sentences grammatically correct? If not, how should I ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How to use the possessive form when referring to someone else and yourself? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “my wife and I's” correct, or should it be “my wife's and my”? How to use the possessive form when referring to someone else and ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

“My parents' friendship with…” vs. “my parent's friendship with…” vs. “my parents friendship with…”

Which of these is correct please, if any? my parents' friendship with Sally's parents my parent's friendship with Sally's parents my parents friendship with Sally's parents What is the ...
1
vote
3answers
779 views

“Writer's writer” — who can say it?

When someone says: This author is a writer's writer. I understand that as meaning the author is accomplished and generally excellent. It's a bit fuzzy in my mind how it can mean this, but I can ...
1
vote
0answers
104 views

Dogs' or dogs's? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? Me and a friend are wondering whether the right form of the possessive for the plural of a word (say dog) would be ...
4
votes
4answers
16k 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
299 views

Correct order of multiple possessive words

Which is correct: Myrtle’s party took place in her and Tom’s apartment Or Myrtle’s party took place in Tom's and her apartment Or neither?
11
votes
3answers
13k views

How do you make the possessive form with “He and I”-style subjects?

Despite being a native speaker of American English, I cannot find a construction that sounds natural when trying to form a possessive from coordinated subjects including a first person pronoun, like ...
0
votes
2answers
595 views

Different forms of the possessive [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Apostrophe "s" vs "Of" I want to know what's the different between the ownership usage: "He's her mother's son" "He is the son of her ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

Castleford dialect

I have recently heard the following from young children originating from Castleford, West Yorkshire: Yourn, meaning yours, hern, meaning hers, arn, meanig ours Could this be related to the ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Plural Possessive of a Singular Noun

While browsing this SE site, I stopped to look at the "What kind of questions can I ask here?" section of the FAQ, where the following is written: Questions on the following topics are welcomed ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

Add one more level of indirection in ownership description: “Peter teacher's car”?

If I want to describe a car owned by Peter, I will say "Peter's car". But how do I describe the car his teacher owns? "Peter teacher's car" or do I have to be descriptive: "the car of Peter's ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Preferred way to apostrophise in case of dual or multiple ownership by distinct entities [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Nikki's and Alice's X” vs. “Nikki and Alice's X” Consider describing the wedding of X and Y. If I want to avoid the overly-formal ...
13
votes
2answers
810 views

Did “Mrs” originally imply possession?

Was Mrs ever intended to mean Mr's, as in mister's to indicate possession? I started thinking about this when someone brought a breakdown of the word history (his-story) to my attention. It ...
1
vote
1answer
430 views

Third person equivalent of “yours” and “mine” [closed]

What is the third person equivalent of yours or mine? For example, It's not your book; you should take yours. It's not my book; I should take mine. It's not his book; he should take X.
5
votes
4answers
9k views

User’s Guide vs Users’ Guide

I’ve been looking over what has been posted regarding the use of ’s. I used to be a Technical Writer (years ago). The title of one of our training documents was Users’ Guide. Once, a coworker said ...
1
vote
2answers
13k views

Jones's or Jones'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? When did it become correct to add an 's' to a singular possessive already ending in 's'? I've always heard that ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

“A friend of his” type expression for abstract entities

Like many non-native speakers, formulations like "a friend of his" strike me as counter-intuitive, but I'm trying to adapt. Now I have a strange situation: I want to apply it to abstract entities. The ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

How to form the possessive case of indefinite pronouns? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should I use “everyone's”, “everyones'” or “everyones”? I was writing a sentence in Google Docs that contained the following ...
8
votes
1answer
787 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 ...