My son was given this worksheet. He wrote the word Jack in the lower right box and Garry above it in chart 2. I think he got it backwards, but does the sentence "Garry is my brother's Jack son" make sense? Why not "Garry is my brother Jack's son"? (I don't think the bottom left four girls can be identified exactly, either, but that's not the point now.)

  • Garry is my brother Jack's son. Or, better, Garry is the son of my brother Jack. "Garry is my brother's Jack son" leaves one wondering what sort of son a "Jack son" is. – Hot Licks Nov 25 '18 at 13:05
  • That's what I thought, too. E.g. "Jack son" might be a Michael sort of person. When spoken, I might even misinterpret it as "Jerk son". – T-Gergely Nov 25 '18 at 16:38
  • That worksheet doesn’t seem to have been made by someone particularly competent in the English language. “Dina and Kate are a lovely twin” is equally nonsensical. (I suspect the more ‘adult’ haircut and the earrings are intended to imply that it’s Sara on the left and Anna on the right, but you’re right that they can’t be identified with certainty. And Dina and Kate definitely can’t.) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 25 '18 at 17:49
  • Thanks for pointing out that incorrect sentence. We didn't even notice it. :( (Alas, we find a lot of badly written sentences even in his native textbooks. We are more sensitive to factual and logical errors, though.) In exercise 3, "Choose the correct word." suggested that we should choose from the words in the bubbles, but we found three words missing, e.g. grandson. – T-Gergely Nov 25 '18 at 22:09
  • Bottom Row are left to right Kate(born first), Dina(minutes later) -- Sara(Born first), Anna, Sam (younger) -- GARRY (same age as Sam=11) certainly is a confusing family – KJO Nov 27 '18 at 0:21

I believe that "Garry is my brother's Jack son" might be wrong, although a lot of people say it. (I might be wrong). This is because the 's after a word indicates that the word has an "of" in front of it.

For example: "The king's horses neighed" means "the horses of the king neighed" "I was eating the man's biscuits" means "I was eating the biscuits of the man"

Personally I think the perfect way of saying it is "Garry is the son of my brother Jack" which COULD mean "Garry is my brother's Jack son" but "Garry is my brother Jack's son" sounds better.

  • 1
    No, a lot of people do not say things like “Garry is my brother’s Jack son”; at least not native English speakers. It is completely and utterly ungrammatical and makes no sense, unless you know there is a type of son called a ‘Jack son’. There isn’t in normal parlance, though. The possessive ’s does not attach itself to words in English, but to noun phrases, and “my brother Jack” is a noun phrase. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 25 '18 at 13:23

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