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Michael Swan writes in Practical English Usage (2005.441-2) "With nouns which are not the names of people, animal, countries, etc, 's is less common, and a structure with a preposition (usually of) is more common." However, he adds "... both structures are possible in some expressions. [..] Unfortunately it is not possible to give useful general rules in ...


Wilson Follett, Modern American Usage (1966) vigorously opposes applying a possessive 's to an inanimate thing (as in "this blog's existence"), calling such possessives "false" and concluding that "we must stick to the ancestral rule which, with a few exceptions, reserves possessives in 's for ownership by a person." Shoe's answer cites a similar (though ...


Common usage would be years' when talking about more than one year in a possessive sense. Seven years' means it belongs to a group of more than one year. I am a super hero with seven years' experience in blowing out fires with my exhalation. Compare with: It had been years since I last blew out fires with my exhalation. For reference: Purdue OWL- ...


To avoid using the apostrophe, you can write I am a super hero with seven years of experience in blowing out fires with my exhalation. However using the apostrophe and writing I am a super hero with seven years' experience in blowing out fires with my exhalation is fine, because it need not mean literal possession. Here the apostrophe simply ...


Those examples are grammatically correct. There is no rule against ending a sentence with a possessive. For another example, see this Chicago manual of style question: http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/data/faq/topics/Punctuation/faq0018.html


Cowan in The Teacher's Grammar of English (p201) states: Noun phrases that refer to inanimate entities or objects will usually appear in an of-phrase construction, as illustrated in (53) and (54). This is not a fixed rule regarding these NPs, but it reflects a clear tendency among native speakers. (53) a. the roof of the house - preferred ...


Only a monarch, using the royal we, or a member of a society in which polyandry was practised could refer to 'our wife'. Your sentence could be expressed as To my darling wife, a lovely mother.

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