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Nouns #17: Possessives (#1), by Dennis Oliver

Nouns #17:
Possessives (#1)

  The most common way of showing possession in English
is through using the apostrophe ( ' ):

Make most singular nouns possessive by adding 's:

John's car / the boy's room / my friend's father


If a singular noun ends in s or ss, it's acceptable
to add 's, but many people feel that adding only
an apostrophe looks better and is clearer:

Dennis' car / Russ' room / Bess' father


For plural nouns that end in s, add only
an apostrophe:

the boys' room / his parents' jobs /
the students' opinions


For common words with irregular plurals,
add 's:

the children's toys / women's basketball /
men's clothing


Special Notes:


Singular possessives with ' are still pronounced as if
they had 's:

Dennis' = 'Dennisuz' / Russ' = 'Russuz' /
Bess' = 'Bessuz.'


Writing 's or ' can change meanings:

the boys' room = the room belonging to two or more
boys, but the boy's room = the room belonging to only
one boy.


The combination ___'s can also mean ___ is or
has. To know which meaning is intended, look at
the words which follow 's:

Mary's father = possessive

Mary's intelligent = is

Mary's been absent many times = has.

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