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11

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 ...


10

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 ...


8

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- ...


5

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 ...


3

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


2

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 ...


1

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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