Daniel runs into Nancy's, his sister's, bedroom.

Daniel runs into Nancy's, his sister, bedroom.

Daniel runs into Nancy, his sister's, bedroom.

Out of the three statements above, which one is accurate? How does one use an apostrophe when introducing a person and their belonging?

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    @Jim There is no compound subject here but it still goes at the end. – tchrist Oct 17 '16 at 2:59
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    @tchrist - I guess I parsed it differently. I concluded that the intent was, “Nancy and his sister’s bedroom.” It never occurred to me that “his sister” was parenthetical. in that case, “Daniel runs into his sister Nancy’s bedroom” would seem best. – Jim Oct 17 '16 at 4:31

These are nouns in apposition — Nancy, his sister — so I would dispense with commas altogether. This makes it more obvious that the Saxon genitive goes at the end of the noun phrase.

Daniel runs into Nancy his sister’s bedroom.

It works just like:

Daniel runs into his sister Nancy’s bedroom.

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  • For the first sentence, the preposition into needs an object. I don't see how that's gonna be anything other than Nancy. The bedroom needs an owner. That's not gonna be Nancy, which has no possessive sense; it will rather be in the form of sister's. – deadrat Oct 17 '16 at 3:38
  • @deadrat I'm afraid I don't see what you're saying. Bedroom is the object he runs into in both sentences. – tchrist Oct 17 '16 at 3:43
  • Bedroom is the object he wants to run into, but Nancy is in the way, syntactically speaking. – deadrat Oct 17 '16 at 3:59

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