Questions tagged [possessives]

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

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13
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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 "...
12
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1answer
6k views

Did “Mrs” originally imply possession?

Was Mrs ever intended to mean Mr's, as in mister's to indicate possession? I started thinking about this when someone brought a breakdown of the word history (his-story) to my attention. It ...
12
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1answer
21k views

Possessive form for words ending in “y”

Which of the following is correct? The fortune 500 companys' assets are vast. The fortune 500 companies' assets are vast.
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7answers
3k views

“Your” vs. “you're”: Why the confusion?

I have seen many comments on different blogs and forums where English native speakers spelled you're as your. I'm not a native speaker, but I know and understand the difference between the two. Why is ...
12
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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 ...
12
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2answers
77k views

Possessive and plural of “Series”

I'm looking at the financial definition of series: a group of stocks or options that have common characteristics. Source How would I form the possessive and plural of this term? I'm guessing it is ...
12
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1answer
54k views

Two possessive nouns in a row

Is this the proper way to use two possessive nouns in a row? I am going over to Lauren's parents' house this evening. or The store's manager's niece was quite attractive. What about three?* ...
12
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3answers
109k 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 ...
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2answers
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Use of an Apostrophe in Maths Place Values

In mathematics, when you're discussing the concepts behind different number bases, it's often necessary to refer to a digit's place. For example, in the following "base 10" number (the number system ...
11
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5answers
1k views

Is possessive's apostrophe dispensable in any case?

For instance, in the following sentence: Is it possible to reset columns' width to default in the message pane? Can I forget the apostrophe, using "columns width"? I don't see the possessive/...
11
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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? ...
11
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7answers
16k views

Difference in pronunciation between “your” and “you're”?

I'm a native English speaker (Texas counts, I suppose), and I pronounce "your" to rhyme with "core", and "you're" to rhyme with "cure". Is it just me or did I pick this up somewhere?
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3answers
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Should “each” be followed by a singular or plural possessive? [duplicate]

If a possessive noun, which is plural, is preceded by "each", then should it use the singular or plural possessive form? For example, which of the following is correct? spend time in each other's ...
11
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1answer
1k views

When did it become incorrect to use apostrophes with possessive pronouns?

I'm reading Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, and I notice that she invariably uses an apostrophe with possessive pronouns — in a way that would be considered incorrect now. For example: (Elinor is ...
10
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2answers
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Is “a friend of his” a used phrase?

I know that a friend of mine is a used phrase, but is the phrase also used with other personal possessive adjectives? I met a friend of his.
10
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1answer
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What is the possessive form of “y'all”?

I generally hear y'alls's used as the possessive form, but I have also heard yourn. Since y'all is a colloquial pronoun, its possessive form is basically liberated from prescriptive linguistics which ...
10
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3answers
4k views

“Shooting themselves in the foot/feet”: Which is preferred?

To “shoot oneself in the foot” is to do something harmful to oneself by accident. How should this phrase be worded to apply to several people? This is provided to stop people from shooting ...
10
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1answer
10k views

How to write the “plural of plural”?

I'm always confused how to write a "something of something else" in English, especially when plural is involved. For example, what would be the correct way to write the following sentences in English: ...
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5answers
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*all of us's friend

There's this funny gap I tried to write a paper once upon a time when I studied linguistics, and I'd like to know if anyone has insight into it. The construction in question is the possessive ...
9
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6answers
7k views

'The company I work for' cannot be shortened to 'My company'? [duplicate]

My English teacher said that it's not correct to say 'my company' for indicating the company I work for, because 'my company' means the company I own. But I don't think this kind of confusion happens ...
9
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2answers
9k views

Using “who” for things (nonliving beings)

On an online typing tutor site I came across the following phrase: We're now going to move on to words who's first letter originates on the top row. Can "who" normally be used in this way (to ...
9
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3answers
19k views

Possessives of a title in italics

If one writes a word in italics, say the name of a movie, and wants to put apostrophe s at the end to form the possessive, is the apostrophe s italicised with the title? Chinatown's or Chinatown's?
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2answers
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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 ...
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2answers
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What possessive pronouns do have an apostrophe?

I was explaining it's vs. its to someone the other day, and I said "None of the pronouns (his, hers, theirs, yours, its, whose, ...) has an apostrophe." Later I got to wondering whether that was ...
9
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2answers
4k views

How to use a the possessive “s” after a dot?

How can I use an apostrophe to show possession after a dot? Example: Martin Luther King Jr.'s world-view. Is this correct?
9
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2answers
145 views

Should I prefer “my” or “our” when the object (a kid, a house) is “co-owned” by two people both present?

I was sitting on a couch between the wife and the husband of an old married couple (native English Londoners) and they were showing me pictures of their kids. They kept using phrases like here is ...
9
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1answer
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How did an apostrophe plus the letter “s” come to indicate possession? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Origins of possessive pronouns How did English come to use "apostrophe s" to indicate possession, when it seems to me that few (if any!) other languages do (or do something ...
9
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4answers
416 views

Why is “Samson had ten men's strength” non-idiomatic?

Per this NGram, the noun phrase ten men's strength has effectively no currency today compared to the strength of ten men. But when a builder is estimating the price for your job, it's always That'll ...
9
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5answers
446k views

If you are talking “on behalf of” you and someone else, what is the correct usage?

If you are talking on behalf of you and someone else what is the correct usage? On behalf of my wife and me On behalf of my wife and I On behalf of me and my wife On behalf of myself ...
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3answers
2k views

Am I correct that, in terms of conversation, “converse” can in no way be used as a noun?

The word "Converse" can certainly be used as a noun in other applications of English, but saying anything like that a participant in a conversation "had converse" is surely out of the question? When ...
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7answers
15k views

Apostrophes and caps in Happy Mother’s Day / Happy Mothers’ Day

So, I’m writing this as it is Mother’s (or maybe Mothers’) Day today, and I was wondering what would be a correct way to write that. Should the apostrophe come be between the r and the s, or after ...
8
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6answers
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“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 ...
8
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3answers
37k views

Do things use apostrophe for indicating possessive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is using the possessive 's correct in “the car's antenna”? If someone owns something I would say: Mom's car. But if the owner is not a person, does it ...
8
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5answers
21k views

Strunk and White says “Charles's” is correct — is this still the case? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: 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 's'? I just bought ...
8
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4answers
11k views

How to indicate possession when using abbreviation “Dr.”

I often run into a case where I need to say I have a doctor's appointment, but how would I properly punctuate it if I wanted to use the abbreviation Dr. instead of the word doctor? Dr.'s appointment ...
8
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3answers
52k views

Can I say “Please find my yesterday’s and today’s daily reports in the documents.”

Can I say "Please find my yesterday’s and today’s daily reports in the documents."?
8
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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?
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4answers
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Why use “his” in association with the word “mankind”?

The economist Keynes in a book wrote: The power to become habituated to his surroundings is a marked characteristic of mankind. I would have used "its" instead but since English is not my mother-...
8
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3answers
616 views

“A similar hat to Jane” vs “A hat similar to Jane’s”

Of late I have noticed British people using the following sort of construct: John and Jane make such a cute couple because John always wears a similar hat to Jane. To my ear, that is ungrammatical,...
8
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1answer
60k views

People's belongings or peoples' belongings? [closed]

I refuse to look after other people's belongings. I refuse to look after other peoples' belongings. Which is correct? We're talking about the belongings that potentially belong individually ...
8
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7answers
1k views

What is the plural and singular form of people you follow on social media?

I'm developing a social network which has a feature similar to twitter's follow/following setup. At the moment I have the following (hehe) terminology on the site: follower - someone who follows you ...
8
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4answers
66k views

Two year's experience or two years' experience or two years experience? [duplicate]

The title says it all; which is correct? Two year's experience or Two years' experience or Two years experience? Likewise, One year's experience or One years experience? I was surprised I couldn't ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Does “In the event of …” take the genitive case?

Is insisting on a genitive pronoun after "In the event of ..." pedantry or correct? For example: "In the event of ..." his/him winning the election my/me dying our/us leaving For those who advocate ...
8
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1answer
300 views

Referring a particular website, should I use the noun adjunct or the genitive/possessive?

I'm wondering if there are any guidelines about using the noun adjunct or the possessive with a website and a company. Should I write: go to the Twitter website or go to Twitter's website? AFAIK ...
8
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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 ...
7
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4answers
2k views

Usage of apostrophe in “baker’s dozen”

In the phrase “baker’s dozen”, why does the apostrophe indicate possession of a (single) baker? Shouldn't it indicate possession of all bakers in general? Shouldn’t it be “bakers’ dozen”?
7
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2answers
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How do I correctly use the possessive apostrophe with a parenthetical citation?

Is the apostrophe in the right place in the following sentence? Pendleton, et al. (2002)’s research implies that extension of treatment allows for greater weight loss.
7
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3answers
87k views

How do you write “a class's constructor”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? I want to write this sentence: In a singleton pattern, a class's constructor needs to be private instead of public....
7
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4answers
792 views

Using apostrophes correctly

I've read a great article about the usage of apostrophes. But there are still some points that are unclear. Why do we say... school project but not school's project? car service but not car's ...
7
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5answers
88k 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 ...