Is this sentence structure correct ?

A society so vibrant and diverse as America’s is bound to dominate.

My basic confusion is that whether to put ’s at the end of the subject or not.

Another example:

A personality so mannered and educated as John’s always has a bright future.

  • 1
    It's not a sentence. (And, since it's not a sentence, there is no subject.) And it would be more idiomatic to say "... society as vibrant ..." The apostrophe in America's is appropriate, since it's being used an an adjective (a "possessive") for "society".
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 23, 2015 at 3:18
  • thanks for the reply-I edited the question to make it a complete sentence, but it doesn't matter much as my actual query is related to the part which is in the start. so is the sentence correct ? Jul 23, 2015 at 3:25
  • Yes these sentences are correct. Why wouldn't they be?
    – phoog
    Jul 23, 2015 at 3:58
  • My take: "Anybody with a personality as well-mannered and educated as John's".... = as John's personality. Somebody who is "mannered" is often a person whose behaviour is very formal, and possibly artificial.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jul 23, 2015 at 13:31

1 Answer 1


Yes, this is correct. What you've done with the 's is omit the noun that's being modified, i.e.:

A society so vibrant and diverse as America's society is bound to dominate.

You can also omit the 's, which would imply that American is a society rather than having a society (which, to be honest, kind of mean the same thing).

However, the second sentence doesn't sound right to me:

A personality so mannered and educated as John's always has a bright future.

The problem here is that personality can mean "person" or "characteristic of a person," but not both at the same time. Now who/what can have a bright future? A person, not a characteristic. But if personality meant "person" here, you cannot use it with the possessive "John's," which only makes sense when applied to a characteristic. So changing "John's" to "John" would make the sentence correct, though it still sounds a bit eccentric to me (I'd just go with "somebody" at the beginning).

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