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It depends whether the nouns are acting separately or together. Use "Mark's and Fred's apples and oranges .. " if each of them owns these fruits. Use "Mark and Fred's apples and oranges .." if they share ownership of the fruits.


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Thanks for this question. I sometimes wonder and would sometimes want reliable references for some language styles. I saw an article Possessive with Two Nouns which says-- "The possessive case can be confusing, especially when two nouns are doing the possessing. Fortunately, The Chicago Manual of Style sheds light on this conundrum. [emphasis mine] ...



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