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In the sentence above, why is "'s" used? Is it considered a possessive? It seems strange to state that the news "belongs" to today or the history "belongs" to tomorrow.

marked as duplicate by Mari-Lou A, Edwin Ashworth, tchrist Jul 8 '18 at 13:34

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  • "Today's news" means "The news of this day (today)" If you replaced "today" with a proper noun or noun phrase you see why the possessive appostrophe is necessary "Peter's news" or "My brother's news" – Mari-Lou A Jul 8 '18 at 8:54
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    They are genitive case nouns, of which possession is just one meaning. Your examples belong to a sub-type of 'attributive' genitive called 'descriptive' genitives -- other examples include "a summer's day" and "a Sainsbury's catalogue". Another sub-type is the 'measure' genitive, which includes such examples as "an hour's delay", "one dollar's worth of chocolates". – BillJ Jul 8 '18 at 11:07
  • BillJ is right: in English, we often use "possessive" as the name of the case that is known as "genitive" in other languages, but actual possession is not the only thing that the case implies. – tautophile Jul 8 '18 at 16:06
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In a comment, BillJ wrote:

They are genitive case nouns, of which possession is just one meaning. Your examples belong to a sub-type of 'attributive' genitive called 'descriptive' genitives -- other examples include "a summer's day" and "a Sainsbury's catalogue". Another sub-type is the 'measure' genitive, which includes such examples as "an hour's delay", "one dollar's worth of chocolates".

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