What are possessive nouns, and how do we use possessive’s?


possessive nouns

Possessive nouns are nouns that show possession or ownership.
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1. When we want to express that something belongs to someone we have to use an APOSTROPHE +s to singular noun or just an APOSTROPHE to plural noun.
For example,

  • The book belongs to the boy = the boy’s book – singular
  • The book belongs to the boys = the boys’ book – plural

TIP: it doesn’t matter how many objects are in possession, only the number of possessors.
For example,

  • The books belong to the boy = the boy’s books
  • The books belong to the boys = the boys’ books

Read more:
Collective Nouns

2. We use ‘s with Proper Nouns (names) as well.
For example,

  • Mary’s bag
  • John’s car
  • Annie’s pen

If the name end with the letter S, you still add ‘s:

  • Jess’s house
  • Charles’s suitcase

Read more:
10 Most Unusual Collective Nouns with Explanation (Infographic)

3. Irregular Plural Nouns will also have ‘s added in the end:
Some nouns have irregular plural forms like woman – women, child – children, etc. In order to show possession, you will need to add ‘s to the plural form too.
For example,

  • child’s book – children’s book
  • woman’s book – women’s book
  • man’s car – men’s car
  • mouse’s cheese – mice’s cheese
  • person’s clothes – people’s clothes

Read more:
Difference between British and American Uncountable Nouns

4. When two nouns are joined, but the possession is separate, we add ‘s to each noun:

  • Jake’s and Mary’s coats are brown and black.
  • Jessica’s and Luigi’s schoolbags are red and purple.

If the possession is the same, we add ‘s only to the second noun:

  • Jake and Mary’s house is big and beautiful.
  • Mike and Jennifer’s car is brand new.

Read more:
5 Most Common Adjective – Noun Collocations: Express, Chilly, Rich, Heavy, Strong

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