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Questions tagged [possessives]

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

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Adding a possessive to a singular noun phrase that ends in a plural noun

Which of these sentences is correct: "The clock under the curtains' hour hand broke off", or "The clock under the curtains's hour hand broke off"? The actual thing being made possessive, "The clock ...
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713 views

How do you refer to a 'they' character in a poem in a possessive sense?

I am writing a paper about Emily Dickinson's ‘They shut me up in Prose –.’ The two characters of the poem are the speaker and an unidentified group only referred to as 'they' and later as 'themself.' ...
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69 views

Determining the stressed word in a sentence when using possessive

In the following sentence, which word should receive the stress: This is the dog’s collar. I fully understand that in different contexts, different words will be stressed. But I’m asking about the ...
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3k views

Genitive without apostrophe or s?

I have to translate the title of my college work and I can't decide whether it is correct to say "Colleagues rating system" or "Colleagues' rating system", because I have often seen examples where ...
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If a noun is followed by brackets, where should the apostrophe be placed to show possession?

Which of the following four sentences has used the apostrophe in the correct way? Captain Jack Sparrow's (Johnny Depp) teeth were glinting in the sunlight. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp)'s teeth ...
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382 views

“The only thought on one's mind” vs. “in one's mind”

I heard the following lines in a song: that I could be the only thought in her mind as she was in mine. I was wondering if it shouldn't be on instead, in both cases. Is the in variant ...
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313 views

Each of the girls in Mark's shop spent “their” or “her” money buying cakes

Can you please tell me if we would use their or her as a possessive pronoun in this sentence? Each of the girls in Mark's shop spent their money buying cakes. Each of the girls in Mark's shop spent ...
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1answer
41 views

Plural noun or singular noun + possessive

When the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on July 9, 1868 —150 years ago this Monday — it closed the door on schemes that aimed to make the U.S. a white man’s country. (source) I ...
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164 views

Post genitive usage

I am writing an introduction to a mathematical text and have to convey the authorship of certain ideas and theorems. However, I am unsure which of the phrases I wanted to use are actually proper ...
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1answer
68 views

Should I write “WP page” or "WP's page?

I am writing a scientific paper and must refer to a page of Wikipedia (WP for short). Should I write "WP page" or "WP's page"? "WP's page" seems to me to be correct, but somehow it sounds strange...
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1k views

genitive case (difficult surnames)

When we write difficult surnames, e.g. Novak Djokovic, is it neccessary to use 's in the genitive case? Is it correct to write Novak Djokovic match-ball, or we must write Novak Djokovic's match-ball (...
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how to attribute a singular property to a plural noun?

Please consider the following examples: The size/sizes of the planets is/are written here. The door/doors of a 100 houses is/are 100Kg. Men's nose/noses is/are bigger than that/those of women. Which ...
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66 views

“Garry is my brother's Jack son.”

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 ...
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1answer
27 views

possessives and number (sing./pl)

I'm revising a text containing these two sentences: a) Students’ sex was coded by using their first names. b) Students’ birthday was self-reported in the survey, I'm sure the correct version ...
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72 views

When can two pronouns being compared in a sentence be of different types?

I came across a sentence today - He resents your being more popular than he is I always thought that while comparing two pronouns they should always be of the same type, like, She is taller than ...
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69 views

How to express the price of a unit of output

What are the differences in meaning between: The output’s unit’s price The unit output’s price or Output unit’s price My intention is to say: “The price of a unit of output”
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2k views

Possessive apostrophe in “teams' time”?

In this sentence: Used by companies to manage their teams' time. Is that the correct possessive usage on teams? Does it matter if a company has more than one team or not? (I assume it does not.) ...
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260 views

possessive pronoun in complex sentence

I have a question regarding this sentence: The personalities of project leaders affect their reactions while they face problems in the project. Do you think that the sentence is grammatically ...
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1answer
689 views

What word class/part of speech is “ the doctor's ” in “ the doctor's office ”?

I need to be able to identify the word classes/parts of speech of each word in a sentence such as: "He walked into the doctor's office." Is it a possessive determiner? A possessive adjective? A ...
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1answer
52 views

Possessive after proper name

The Penguin Guide to Pronunciation says: "A name ending in S takes only an apostrophe if the possessive form is not pronounced with an extra s. Hence: Socrates' philosophy, Saint Saens' music Ulysses'...
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1answer
14k views

Saturday's class vs saturday class

everyone! I have a doubt about it: saturday's class x saturday class Which one is correct? I always get confused to know when I use 's when it comes to therms like these ones, when there isn't a ...
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“Confirmation parents' meeting” or “confirmation parents meeting”?

If a meeting is for a group of parents run by a Church, for example, would it be "Confirmation parents' meeting" or "Confirmation parents meeting"?
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Why is the genitive case necessary/unecessary in the examples below?

I speak English as a second language, and I ran into something this week that I couldn't explain, even though I could understand its meaning. While reading an artcle entitled "More people now ...
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Does the apostrophe come before or after the s when the noun is less than one?

I have a noun, "second", that I need to make possessive in the sentence, It's like having a second's slower reflexes. When I make it plural, the apostrophe comes after the s. It's like having ...
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English grammar Genitive case

Please help me, I am confused. As you know some times we can 'of' in a noun phrase by reversing the nouns order eg. a train of goods => a goods train If I want to mention a definite 'goods train' ...
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Double possessive with “that”

Is the usage of the 's in the following sentence valid English? His mind is that of a child's. This looks like a double possessive to me, but having read the relevant Wikipedia article, I can't ...
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Sequential Possessive Noun and Contraction

While creating a program that randomly creates sentences with available words that I have preprogrammed, I found a set of words that work together normally, but when combined are questionable. That ...
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136 views

Do you add `'s` for the possessive of a singular compound noun that ends in a plural noun?

Which of these is correct? The Union of Concerned Scientists's main goal is to prevent nuclear war. or The Union of Concerned Scientists' main goal is to prevent nuclear war. The noun phrase ...
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60 views

Apostrophe for possession

I have the following (probably, but hopefully not) problem. For me, it is often not clear when to use a possessive apostrophe in engineering speech. Consider the following sentence: thus ...
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39 views

When to use 'of' as in 'generation of entropy' vs. 'entropy generation'?

In scientific literature both ways are used. Another example is: 'generation of electricity' vs. 'electricity generation'. In other situations, however, 'of' seems to be required: 'addition of sugar' ...
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Do conversations, meetings, and interactions indicate joint possession?

While referring to interactions or conversations, does the apostrophe indicate joint possession or discrete possession? For example, The cops analyzed Ron and Mary's interactions to find a clue. ...
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60 views

Does a prepositional phrase by itself confer possession?

In apposition, would it be "X, a graduate student of my husband" or "X, a graduate student of my husband's"?
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An indefinite article in front of an adjective without a noun

I've written a sentence that goes "The sky dimmed as the sun fired an emerald beam salute and sank into the far crest of the earth splashing gleams that stained the overhanging firmament a blacklight ...
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Do I need to add a noun after the possessive?

By attributing the accident to the woman’s stupidity rather than the man’s, ... Is this grammatically correct? Or do I need a noun after man's?
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5k views

Another way to say the possessive “one another's” or “each other's”

The possessive forms in "one another's" or "each other's" seems awkward as the "s" is given to just one part of the phrase. Is there any other way to say such possessives. Example: Couples do not ...
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66 views

What case is the word preceding a possessive “'s”?

In the sentence "I gave Jane's dog to her." what is the case of the word Jane? The only example where I can see that a case might exist would be in the example of "whoever's" vs. "whomever's" where "...
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Is it okay to use two possessives to refer to one single thing?

In the sentence I was thinking of in particular, I was trying to speak about the knuckle on the middle finger of someone's right hand. I wrote it as: "[...] resting on his right hand's middle finger'...
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79 views

Possessive nouns or not?

While referring to athletes: Why are they champions of men, women, young and old? or They are champions of men, women, young and old. Are these sentences correct or should I use apostrophe to ...
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71 views

A pronoun/possessive adjective in a complex construction

"I had been warned about Bill by Dave, and I'd seen his explosive temper in action." Is the antecedent of the possessive adjective 'his' clear here? Or is there some ambiguity as to whether it refers ...
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150 views

Using a possessive apostrophe when referring to an unnamed protagonist “I”

For my English class, I am writing an analysis on The Yellow Wallpaper. My proposed thesis is: In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, Gilman uses the ostracism and incarceration of ...
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842 views

What is the difference between phrases “buyer name” and “buyer's name”?

I really confused about using of possessive adjectives. One another example - "type of something" (type of thing) and something type (thing type) - what is the difference? Where and when should I use ...
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Possessive adj vs. Possessive pronoun

---- idea is not worthy Fill in the blank with a possessive pronoun a."His idea is not worthy" b."Your idea is not worthy" The answer was b. But why is "His idea" wrong?
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Whose Possessive?

There are some sentences that seem to be ambiguous to me and I do not know if one is correct or interpretation is left completely to context. They all follow some basic format: "The boy misunderstood ...
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690 views

showing possession for inanimate

There are some exceptions to using ’s for showing possession for inanimate nouns. For example, it isn’t correct to write door’s handle but today’s world is correct. Could you please explain more ...
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Possessive: Doctors Surgery or Doctor's Surgery?

I'm a primary school teacher and have just printed off some material based on the doctor(')s surgery. I would have put an apostrophe into this as the surgery belongs to the doctor however, I've looked ...
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156 views

When to use the three diferent forms of possessive

I don't speak English, so I hope you understand. I've seen and read that the apostrophe ('s) is used for people and not for objects, and “of” must be used for objects and not for people and in some ...