Questions tagged [possessives]

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

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4k views

Is a possessive noun a contraction?

I was told not to use contractions in an essay. My classmate wrote "the argument of Emily" but I preferred "Emily's argument". He disagreed and claimed "Emily's" is a contraction.
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Is “decades’ past” possessive?

I’m pretty sure I have this right; here's my sentence: There were a few random music friends from decades’ past there to see her, and she couldn’t be any prouder. Do I have the apostrophe right?
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Bayes' Theorem or Bayes's Theorem? (Similarly, Charles' Law or Charles's Law?) [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? ...
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2answers
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Correct form of object of sentence with grouped possessive and personal pronoun?

Lets say the object of a sentence is a possessive, of more than one nouns. Something that is say both someone else's and my own. IE Tom's and mine, as in the sentence This meeting requires Tom and ...
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3answers
2k views

Is it ok to omit a possessive apostrophe before a capitalized appellation (President, country name, VP, PM)?

In a recent Financial Times article (Yemen PM Escapes Assissnation), the apostrophe necessary to show possession was left out. I've seen colleagues do it as well. Isn't it supposed to be "Yemen's PM ...
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Using apostrophes with plural and possession

We have something going to print today, but everyone in the office is arguing as to where to correctly place the apostrophe in the sentence (if at all!) The sentence is: Bring your event into the ...
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2answers
199 views

Referring to “the assertion made in the US Supreme Court's majority opinion”

I want to refer to an assertion that is part of the written majority opinion in a particular case, put forth by the US Supreme Court's majority for that case. Question spurred by my attempts to do ...
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2answers
789 views

How should I correctly repeat possessives?

planning of mine, the student and the company planning of mine, the student's, and the company's Which is correct/better, and why? I would assume 2 is correct, but is 1 incorrect?
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Apostrophe or assume the possessive?

This question has divided the office into two camps. Camp 1 believes the correct way to indicate the relationship in this sentence is to use the client's name as a possessive, as in "When ...
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6answers
530 views

“It's” versus “its” frequencies

My hypothesis is that in informal writing (say something like Stack Exchange questions) "it's" is massively more common than "its". Is this true? Are there any data to support it? Concrete ...
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1answer
80 views

Mnemotechnic approach to identifying transitive vs verb-adjective constructs

I'm no linguist, grammarian and not even an english speaker, please bear with me. I'm looking for a quick way to identify transitive vs intransitive constructs, for example, in the sentence "the ...
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1answer
286 views

How would you say “a car manufactured by Toyota”?

I bought a car manufactured by Toyota. How would you say "a car manufactured by Toyota"? I bought Toyota's car. or I bought a car of Toyota. or I bought a car from Toyota. or I bought ...
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343 views

“Moon's Land ” or “Land of Moon”? [closed]

What is the difference between Moon's Land and Land of Moon? Do both expressions have the same meaning or how do they differ? When do we use each one of these, if they do have different meanings?
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Possessive form of “which” [duplicate]

The possessive form of who is whose. What is the equivalent possessive form of which? which has the same purpose as who as a placeholder in a secondary sentence, with the difference that who is for ...
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2answers
244 views

Correct usage of the possessive in the name “Christiaan Huygens”

I'm writing a lab for a simple diffraction experiment, and I am stuck on this grammatical point: Is it more appropriate to say "Huygens' Principle" or "Huygens's Principle"*? A cursory glance at ...
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2answers
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Ambiguity when a sentence contains multiple possessive pronouns

I have a question related to another one that I have asked. In the following sentence, whose father is being referenced? Billy’s friend and his father were there. In the following re-structured ...
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1answer
437 views

What can come after a Possessive Adjective?

This sentence: "Today's my breakfast" means: "Today is my breakfast" But if it is written like: "My today's breakfast" it would mean: "The breakfast I eat today" (literal). "Today" then acts ...
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Which (if any) pedantically, grammatically, correct uses of the apostrophe will lead to a valid “NOUNs’s” construction?

The “<NOUN>s’s” construction comes up quite often in signs, at least in my neighbourhood. I haven’t seen a legal use of the arrangement, though — and I wonder, is it at all possible? If it ...
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3answers
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Is the idiom, “one person's word against another” or “another's”?

A common idiom is: This is just one person's word against another. Is the correct form another or another's? I assumed the extended forms would be: This is just one person's word against ...
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2answers
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How do you make a word like “parent(s)” possessive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? "Please submit your and your parent(s)' federal tax returns." Is the possessive of "parent(s)'" correctly formatted in ...
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1answer
206 views

Are there nouns that undergo no change when used in the possessive (Saxon genitive)?

I’m looking for the existence of English nouns (common or proper) that undergo no change when used in their possessive (Saxon genitive) form, i.e. that do not take the usual ’s appendage the way radio’...
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When must a gerund be preceded by a possessive pronoun as opposed to an accusative one?

I was recently reading this very interesting post here: When is a gerund supposed to be preceded by a possessive adjective/determiner? In this thread, it is argued persuasively that we could use ...
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Gerund preceded by a genitive?

Is this sentence actually grammatical? You know your having a rough day when kittens don't even make you smile. The writer of this sentence may intend to mean you're instead of your but I'm just ...
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How to form the possessive case of indefinite pronouns? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should I use “everyone's”, “everyones'” or “everyones”? I was writing a sentence in Google Docs that contained the following ...
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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, ...
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637 views

wooden, golden, oaken - Genitive?

A few nouns can be transformed into an adjective meaning "made of that noun (also: being like that noun)" by adding -en. golden, wooden, oaken, stonen Are those remnants of an old noun inflection ...
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427 views

How to Construct an Unambiguous Joint Possessive that Follows a Verb?

How to Construct an Unambiguous Joint Possessive that Follows a Verb? I've read that when writing about multiple possessors who jointly posses a thing, the common practice is to add a Saxon-genitive (...
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apostrophe that goes with a noun which precedes a relative clause

Suppose you wanted to place a possessive apostrophe in this sentence: Billy, who goes to my school, favorite game is tag. I know it's not standard, but I can hear kids (or older) saying an s sound ...
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Plurals and possessives of quoted words [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Marking plural of code words Pluralizing Keywords in Programming Languages After asking a number of questions on StackOverflow, I keep running into some of the same phrasing ...
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Are people using 'of' differently today than they were 20 years ago? [closed]

Of 'of': Expressing Possession and Being Possessed The definition of 'of' was changed in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) from the 1989 edition to the 2010 edition. Below are 2 sub-topics ...
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139 views

What is the correct way to say “It was this week that Justin and my lives changed forever”?

What is the correct way to indicate "Justin and I" as being possessive of our individual lives in this sentence? Is there a way to do this without restructuring the sentence? A friend of mine posted ...
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Which is correct here, “your” or “yours”?

I know that "Your" is a determiner and, "Yours" is a possessive pronoun. I had a case where I wasn't sure if it should be used as a determiner or pronoun: In response from your and someone's ...
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1answer
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St. John's greatest dinner: how to indicate a possessive of a noun which already ends apostrophe - s [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: If the cricket ground Lord's is a possessive, what if you want to describe something belonging to Lord's? Here's a tricky one that I can't quite figure out the correct ...
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1answer
168 views

Genitive of Fritz [duplicate]

How do I form a Genitive of Fritz, i. e. a word that indicates that something or someone belongs to him? Following options come to mind and neither sounds English: Fritz's friends Fritzes ...
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1answer
762 views

Double possessive: a friend of Steven's [duplicate]

I am wondering about the "double possessive" I have been reading about. I have a couple of sentences as an example: He’s a new client of Jane and Kevin’s and a close childhood friend of Steven O’...
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1answer
243 views

When can you omit the possessive on an honorific?

I was considering honorifics and I realized that sometimes we include and sometimes we omit a possessive in front of them. I was wondering if there was a formal rule for such? For example: Your ...
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Saxon genitive and “et al.”

I am writing a scientific paper. In this context, it is usual to cite other works with the last name of the first author followed by "et al." when there are many. If I want to use a possessive form, ...
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How should I use a possessive apostrophe when a name is between commas?

Is this the correct use of an apostrophe when showing a name and relationship? When was your father, Robert's, wedding? Thanks!
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“This boys hat”: Ambiguity of demonstative with possessive

A. [This boy]’s hat is cute. B. This [boys’ hat] is cute. In sentence A, "this" modifies "boy," and in sentence B, "this" modifies "boy's hat," as the brackets show. Questions What is ...
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Why do we write “Fourier's law” but “Soret effect”?

Can you explain why do we write e.g. Fourier's law, Ohm's law, Newton's law of cooling, etc. but Soret effect, Dufour effect instead of Soret's effect, Dufour's effect? What is the principle?
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Green's functions or Green functions [closed]

In the sciences there exists mathematical functions that are named after the British mathematician George Green. People refer to them in various ways such as: Green's function, Green's functions, ...
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Name, Conditions, and Pluralization of “Conscience' sake”

In some versions of the Bible, 1 Cor. 10:25 contains the phrase conscience' sake with no s following the possessive apostrophe of conscience, which does not end with s, as in: New American Standard ...
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When is it appropriate to use 'the' instead of a possessive determiner?

I was with someone today and we were talking about a woman, and she said: "Wow, the husband must be so proud." I was confused as to which was correct or more appropriate as opposed to: "Wow, ...
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“One of my friend's father” vs. “one of my friends' father” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Possessive form of “one of [a list]”? What is correct: One of my friend's father is serving in the Navy. One of my friends' father is serving in the Navy. ...
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Is it possible to use 'me' as a possessive in English sentences? [duplicate]

I just found that the word 'me' was used as a possessive in sentences of spoken English, in the movie "Harry Potter": "I'm half and half. Me dads a muggle, mum's a witch." Generally, isn't it ...
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“My Mum's” instead of “My Mum's place”: short form only used for places/homes?

In expressions such as We went to John's house. The party was at my Mum's place. it seems to be quite common to leave out "house" and "place", leading to We went to John's. The party ...
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0answers
413 views

What is the possessive form of “what”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: 'Which', 'whose' or something else? First of all, I'm not a native speaker so I can't rely on my intuition in this specific case. For a very long time I was ...
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2answers
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Possessive-S/apostrophe in a list, including the first and second person

When adding possessive-S/apostrophe to a list, the rule is only the last person has the apostrophe if the item is shared, or everyone has one if they have the items each, e.g. John and Mary's houses =...
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4answers
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Is it correct to use an apostrophe to indicate something that belongs to an object? [duplicate]

I'm 18 years old, & I'm working on a new blog. I'm trying to get all of the help that I can get with English. This is the title that I'm planning on using for the first post: Reasons for this ...
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The possessive s [closed]

My problem is about the possessive s (the ownership s) not that ending-s. For example, we say, America's Flag, here the America has gotten one ownership s that is America is the owner of that Flag. ...