Suppose I'd like to refer to a car owned by my neighbor. I write this as "That's Mr. Johnson's (my neighbors) car". Should I write the extra "my neighbor" in it's genitive form?

Sorry if the title seems messy, but I couldn't think of a good way to put it. An edit would be appreciated.

  • I don't know the official answer to this. However, don't do what I heard in the park the other day: "That's Mr. Johnson and I's car". – Ryan Reich May 10 '11 at 17:51
  • You write: "That's Mr. Johnson's car" and if someone asks: "Who is Mr.Johnson?", you reply: "Mr.Johnson is my neighbor". – Gigili May 10 '11 at 18:17

I think you can use

That's Mr. Johnson's (my neighbor) car.

What's in the parentheses is for clarification of who Mr.Johnson is, not who the car belongs to.

A better way to do this is

That's my neighbor, Mr. Johnson's car.

  • Good point. But what if I'd write: "Mr. Johnson/my neighbor"? When I think about it, I guess that would be the same thing as possesive with several names? – Shathur May 10 '11 at 17:36
  • "That's Mr.Johnson's/my neighbor's car." I think. But, I'm really not sure, that's strange. – MikeVaughan May 10 '11 at 17:38
  • Or, what would happen if I wanted to write "That's my neighbor, Mr. Johnson's car." I guess that it would then be correct to just use possessive in the actual name. – Shathur May 10 '11 at 17:43
  • Yes, the example you cited, is correct. Also, I think it's better. – MikeVaughan May 10 '11 at 17:46
  • As always, the best solution to a linguistic problem is to find another way (i.e. rephrase). ^^ But this question is hypothetical. I have no real reason to actually solve the problem (to be able to use it). I want to know the rules (if any!) for this specific situation. – Shathur May 10 '11 at 17:55

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