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If my two neighbors own a cat, it’s "my neighbors’ cat". If someone famous owns a dog, what's the correct way to describe it: "someone famous’ dog"?

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth, Mitch, AndyT, J. Taylor, Dancrumb Jul 22 '18 at 19:45

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  • I have a feeling this will be deleted as a duplicate, so I will just give my answer here: Yes. You would say "someone famous' dog," like you would say "the king of Spain's throne." You are using a noun phrase, and the noun phrase itself is the noun and is what has possession. When there is ambiguity, like in "the king of Spain's throne" -- for example, is it Spain's throne and he is the king of just the throne? -- then we usually rephrase, especially in writing where we don't have the advantage of tone to convey meaning. – Billy Jul 7 '18 at 17:50
  • It's a 'famous someone's dog'. Or, better, it is a 'famous person's dog'. – Nigel J Jul 7 '18 at 18:28
  • Is your question about possessive after a singular noun ending in "s"? If so, please state that clearly. – AndyT Jul 20 '18 at 11:24
  • @AndyT: I think the point of the question is that "famous" is not a singular noun: it is an adjective, but it does end in "s" and it is the last word in the singular noun phrase "someone famous". – sumelic Jul 21 '18 at 6:13

The least awkward and most correct option would be "the dog of someone famous".

Unless by someone famous you mean an actual name, in which case it would be, say, "Freddie Mercury's dog" or "Wednesday Addams' dog"


[It's] someone famous' dog.

This may be "correct," in the sense that someone famous is a noun phrase, and you are adding a possessive to it, but it sounds very awkward.

Even though it's a noun phrase, the second word is an adjective—and you don't normally see a possessive come immediately after an adjective.

One way of making it sound less awkward would be to reverse the adjective and noun, resulting in the possessive being put immediately after the noun instead:

[It's a] famous someone's dog.

While less awkward, it's still not the most natural sounding of sentences.

Aside from the answer already provided, you could also phrase it as:

It's a dog that belongs to someone famous.

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