I have a question about possessives.

While "Peter's ball" is easy and clear.

How do I express the notion of "the ball that belongs to agent 2"?

Would it be "agent's 2 ball" or "agent 2's ball" or what else?

marked as duplicate by RegDwigнt Sep 1 '18 at 17:36

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 3
    It's agent 2's ball, same as the King of Spain's daughter (but don't forget the King of Spain's daughter's doll's dress, among other more exotic examples of the Saxon Genitive). – FumbleFingers Sep 1 '18 at 17:26

Your second guess is correct:

Agent 2's ball

The ball is owned by 'agent 2', which is a noun phrase. You should put the apostrophe indicating possession after the complete noun phrase, regardless of whether the noun phrase includes numbers or not.

You can see this form when referring to royalty:

King Henry V's advisors

or to government and military organizations:

Directorate 7's responsibilities

  • 1
    When I typed my comment to the question, I took it for granted I'd be closevoting as a dup straight after. But unless my google-fu has deserted me, we've never had this one before. I might have considered voting to migrate to English Language Learners, but I guess your answer sits well enough here. – FumbleFingers Sep 1 '18 at 17:34

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.