Questions tagged [possessives]

Questions about the possessive, one of several constructions that describe ownership or association between two objects.

328
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22answers
97k views

Is there a correct gender-neutral singular pronoun (“his” vs. “her” vs. “their”)?

Is there a pronoun I can use as a gender-neutral pronoun when referring back to a singular noun phrase? Each student should save his questions until the end. Each student should save her ...
55
votes
4answers
26k views

When is a gerund supposed to be preceded by a possessive adjective/determiner?

I assume that the following sentences are grammatically correct: He resents your being more popular than he is. Most of the members paid their dues without my asking them. They objected to ...
130
votes
6answers
251k views

“My wife and I's seafood collaboration dinner”

I just stumbled upon a Reddit post titled: My wife and I's seafood collaboration dinner. How does it look? Sure enough, the top comment immediately points out that it should be "my wife's and my". ...
86
votes
2answers
136k views

What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in “‑s”?

What is the possessive of a noun ending in ‑s? Are these both right, or is the second one wrong? the boys' books the boss' car
37
votes
3answers
91k views

Which singular names ending in “s” form possessives with only a bare apostrophe?

Many questions already ask about this topic (What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in "‑s"? , When did it become correct to add an “s” to a singular possessive already ending in “‑...
19
votes
5answers
78k views

User’s Guide vs Users’ Guide

I’ve been looking over what has been posted regarding the use of ’s. I used to be a Technical Writer (years ago). The title of one of our training documents was Users’ Guide. Once, a coworker said ...
22
votes
3answers
6k views

“Nikki's and Alice's X” vs. “Nikki and Alice's X”

Which option is grammatical? There will be readings from Nikki Giovanni’s and Alice Walker’s writings. There will be readings from Nikki Giovanni and Alice Walker's writings. Saying it out ...
34
votes
10answers
9k views

Why is it usually “friend of his”, but no possessive apostrophe with “friend of Peter”?

As this NGram shows, we nearly always use the possessive form of personal pronouns for friend of mine/his/ours/etc. But when it comes to actual names, we prefer friend of Peter without the possessive ...
27
votes
5answers
20k views

Is using the possessive 's correct in “the car's antenna”?

I know that to mark possession of an item you can use 's like in the following example: The user's password shall not be blank. However, is it correct to use the following: The car's antenna is ...
59
votes
7answers
28k views

When did it become correct to add an “s” to a singular possessive already ending in “‑s”?

According to my grammar book, but at variance to the answer to this question, the correct singular possessive if a word ends in ‑s is: James’s car The grammar book allows exceptions for historical ...
32
votes
4answers
3k views

Possessive of a word that is already possessive

If the cricket ground Lord's is a possessive, what if you want to describe something belonging to Lord's? Would you say: I was very impressed by Lord's's customer services. It doesn't look right, ...
11
votes
6answers
13k views

What possessive forms are used for mutual 1st person ownership? [duplicate]

I want to talk to someone about the house that my wife and I own. Saying, for example, "My wife's and my house is awesome," sounds a bit funny to me. What's the best way to express this? ...
39
votes
5answers
55k views

Apostrophe-“s” vs “of ”

I gave a quick answer to part of this question which had not been covered by previous answers, trying to clarify the reason you would say time of decoding but not decoding’s time. I said it was ’s ...
19
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it correct to say “I write children books” (not possessive case)? [closed]

Although Children's books is what everybody says, I would like to understand why the genitive case is applied in such case. If I write books for children, children is an adjective here; not the ...
108
votes
5answers
146k views

Can “whose” refer to an inanimate object?

We lit a fire whose fuel was old timber wood. Is the word whose referring to fire, an inanimate object, correct in this sentence? Or is there a more appropriate word?
17
votes
4answers
55k views

What is the pronunciation of the possessive words that already end in s? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When did it become correct to add an ‘s’ to a singular possessive already ending in ‘s’? Which singular names ending in “s” form possessives with only a bare apostrophe? My ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Do you pluralize the singular possessions of individual members of a plural group?

In a situation where you are speaking to a group of men — for example on a sign passed by many married men — which is correct: "Remind your wife" or "Remind your wives"?
21
votes
4answers
40k views

'Which', 'whose' or something else?

I would appreciate your help phrasing the following: I am looking for elements which/whose/... size/sizes is/are relatively large.
12
votes
3answers
108k views

Should “two weeks vacation” be written “two weeks’ vacation” with a possessive apostrophe?

I’ve always understood that the phrase two weeks usually turns into two weeks’ when used as a modifier as in I’m giving my two weeks’ notice. I get two weeks’ vacation. (“two weeks’ holiday” for ...
3
votes
2answers
22k views

User’s/Users’/Users Group [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “User's guide” vs. “users' guide” If referring to a Users Group (meaning a group made up of multiple individual users who have some control of ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

Possessive Form of a Proper Noun Ending in a Plural Noun Ending in “s”? [duplicate]

I don't think this has yet been covered in any of the other questions on similar topics. There was one other very similar question, however, it was not specifically talking about the case where the ...
46
votes
4answers
40k views

Why doesn't “its” have an apostrophe?

I know that its is the possessive and it's is the contraction, and know when to use them. But why doesn't the possessive have an apostrophe? "The bear's eating a fish." [contraction] "The bear's ...
2
votes
1answer
899 views

Attributive or Possessive noun [duplicate]

In the following is it better to use a possessive noun with an apostrophe or an attributive noun without an apostrophe? The following list details the assumptions that have been made in ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Explanation on when the possessive should be used instead of an attributive noun

How would you explain to a person who is learning English, and whose native language does not have attributive nouns, when the possessive should be used instead of an attributive noun? In particular, ...
19
votes
3answers
15k views

Apostrophe in “beginners guide”

In the phrase beginners guide to …, where should the apostrophe go? Beginner’s Guide to […] Beginners’ Guide to […] In my particular case, this is the title for a presentation so there are multiple ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

A noun adjunct / the possessive case

Sometimes it’s possible to use either a noun adjunct or the possessive case. the shop door the shop’s door However, in certain phrases it’s not OK to do so. the ship’s crew (the ship crew is ...
5
votes
2answers
121k views

Plural possessive with separate posessions

When we refer to a house that belongs to a family, we say "family's house". Pluralizing family gives us "families". Referring to the houses of several families, we say "families' houses". Forming the ...
27
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is there a distinction between “its” and “it's”?

While I know technically the English language has a distinction because when there's a conflict between the possessive form and a contraction, the contraction wins. That is: Its is the possessive ...
15
votes
1answer
5k views

Is it common for place names to lose their possessive apostrophe?

On a road trip, my wife and I drove by Kings Dominion. We debated whether this should in actuality be King’s Dominion. It seemed that it ought to be possessive, or possibly plural possessive. Upon ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Why do we say a “hotel room” and not a “hotel's room”? [closed]

I would like to know what the rule is to explain why we do not use the genitive construction hotel's room. Instead, we say "a hotel room". Other examples: a hospital bed a bike stand Would it ...
3
votes
0answers
325 views

possessive connecting word for inanimate object [duplicate]

Duplicate of: Is the word 'whose' referring to an inanimate object correct in this sentence? Usage of “whose” not referring to a person. Referring to some attribute of an inanimate ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

Why do we say “of mine/of his” instead of “of me/of him”?

He's a friend of mine. That's a car of his. Why do we use the possessive when the meaning would be the same while not using it (e.g. a friend of me and a car of him)? I thought maybe it is short ...
15
votes
2answers
12k views

How to indicate possession by e.g. passers-by, mothers-in-law

I'm quite fond of internal pluralisation, such as passers-by, mothers-in-law, or even Chambers of Commerce. However, I've recently realised that I've no idea how to indicate possession in such a case....
12
votes
2answers
10k views

Why use apostrophe-s to denote possession when using 'of'

Think of the simple phrase "Bill's friend". If you were going to turn this around using the preposition 'of' would you say: A friend of Bill's or A friend of Bill It appears to me that, in the US ...
15
votes
3answers
11k views

Why “themselves” and “himself”

In the earliest grades of elementary schools, students learn that "hisself" and "theirselves" are not words. I do not understand why this is. If you wanted to refer to 'his' sock, you would say "his ...
0
votes
2answers
676 views

St. Matthew's vs. St. Matthew

What is the proper spelling: St Matthew's or St. Matthew when not followed by the word "Church". * "There will undoubtedly be tradeoffs that I will have to make if I stay with St. Matthew’s." *...
55
votes
1answer
335k views

Is there an apostrophe in a master's degree?

The question asks it all really. When referring to a master's degree, do you use an apostrophe or not? That is, is it "a master's" or "a masters"?
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Possessive form of “one of [a list]”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Plural possessive with separate posessions Which of the following is more correct? Or is there another form I'm missing? We drove to the movies in one of my buddy's car. ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

“The queen of England's crown” or “The queen's of England crown”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “My wife and I’s seafood collaboration dinner” What is the correct way of these two sentences? The queen of England's crown The queen's of England crown Strictly ...
16
votes
5answers
80k views

What is the possessive of “you guys”?

Most people seem to stumble over this. The problem can arise with any multi-word phrase that needs a possessive but ends in S, and so sounds awkward using the clitic apostrophe-S. I've heard this ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Genitive case or attributive noun

Is there any rule for when it is better to use genitive case or noun as adjective? I'm not sure if there is any difference in meaning in this example: The department of accounting The ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Appositives with possessiveness?

I would like to say something like The boy, Adam's, favorite toy was a bike. What is the proper way to say this?
5
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2answers
47k views

“Me and Joey's” or “mine and Joey's” [duplicate]

Which of the following should I use? Today is me and Joey's anniversary Today is mine and Joey's anniversary
8
votes
6answers
67k views

“Your and my [something]” vs “Yours and my…”

Prompted by comments against this question, I'd like some help figuring out why some people (myself included) prefer yours over the apparently more logical/grammatically consistent your in this kind ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

articles with the possessive nouns in the plural

Is there a definite rule about the use of articles with the possessive nouns in the plural? One rule says that the article in such a phrase modifies the possessive noun. So, it is correct to say "...
15
votes
1answer
3k views

Origins of possessive pronouns

If apostrophe + s is the acceptable way of denoting a genitive in English, is it possible that possessive pronouns, such as hers, ours and yours, started life as possessive adjectives with apostrophe +...
18
votes
1answer
172k views

Yours vs. your's

Which is correct “Is that yours?” or “Is that your’s?”? I ask because it is possessive, so I would think it would be the latter, but I typically use and see the former usage. Are there particular ...
2
votes
1answer
880 views

Referring to some attribute of an inanimate object — use “who's”?

This came up in describing an input to a function: A handle to the daemon who's name is desired. (Daemon is a type of process on a system.) Somehow, "who's" just doesn't seem right because it's ...
14
votes
3answers
84k views

How do you make the possessive form with “He and I”-style subjects? [duplicate]

Despite being a native speaker of American English, I cannot find a construction that sounds natural when trying to form a possessive from coordinated subjects including a first person pronoun, like "...
7
votes
5answers
87k views

What’s the correct plural possessive of “kids”?

I know that children’s books is correct, but for some reason I want to say kids books, even though I know that it’s a plural possessive noun ending in an s. A quick search on the web turns up Barnes ...