We use a noun with ’s with a singular noun to show possession:

We are having a party at John’s house.
Michael drove his friend’s car.

We use s’ with a plural noun ending in -s:

This is my parents’ house.
Those are ladies’ shoes.

But we use ’s with other plural nouns:

These are men’s shoes.
Children’s clothes are very expensive.

We can use a possessive instead of a noun phrase to avoid repeating words:

 

Is that John’s car?   No, it’s Mary’s [car]. > No, it’s Mary’s.
Whose coat is this?   It’s my wife’s [coat]. > It’s my wife’s.

 

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Which is a better sentence:
Uncle Tom and Aunt Mary are staying at Aunt Mary's friend's house in Japan.
Uncle Tom and Aunt Mary are staying at the house of Aunt Mary's friend in Japan.

Hello Janice,

The first one is probably more common, since we usually use 's with people, but there's nothing wrong with the second one.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello there,
Please give me a help about the following matter:

I want to make an inquiry document for purchasing some doors for some of our company cars. Let's say there are five cars and we want to have five spare doors, I need to know what I should write in my inquiry for this. Which of the followings is correct and more appropriate?

1)Inquiry for Car Doors
2) Inquiry for Cars Door
3)Inquiry for Cars Doors
4)Inquiry for Cars' Doors
5)Inquiry for Car's Doors

Since we don’t usually use the possessive ’s with things, I personally think no.4 and no.5 are wrong.
Please let me have your comments/recommendations.

Regards,
Pedram

Hello Pedram,

1) is the correct option here. 'car door' is a noun + noun combination. In these kinds of compound nouns (there are many others, e.g. 'mineral water', 'horse race', 'schoolbook', 'sunglasses'), the first noun is almost always singular and it is the second noun which becomes plural.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk,

So informative answer, thank you!

Best Wishes,
Pedram

Hi there !
I am a little bit confused with the following sentences' :
1) Children follow the footsteps of their parent's when it come to a habit of watching T.V.

2) Children's follow the footsteps of their parents' when it come to the habit of watching T.V.

Please suggest me which sentence (1 or 2) is correct and why or why not.

With regards
David

Hi David,

I'm afraid neither of those sentences is correct. When we use 'of' in this way we do not use a possessive form so the correct sentence would be:

 

Children follow the footsteps of their parents when it comes to the habit of watching T.V.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter,
Thank you very much for your feedback.

I will do keep this in mind.
But i feel you made a minor mistake in your sentence(i may be wrong); you have written "Children's follow the footsteps of their parents when it come to the habit of watching T.V."
i feel , come is wrong , it should be "comes" because of "it" before it.

Thanks

Hello davidChoubey,

Thank you for pointing this out. There were actually two errors in the sentence! I copied the sentence from the original question and did not check it properely. I have edited my answer now.

Thanks once again. We should always remember to check things carefully before clicking 'save'!

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,

If I have three or more nouns (e.g. persons) sharing possession of an item or items, would it be right to say that the apostrophe is only added to the last noun, as in the following:
"Dick, Mary, Charlene and Tim's car" ?

Also, under the same scenario where again all parties share possession of the same item or items, and should my phrase involve a personal pronoun, would it be right to say that the apostrophe is added only to the last noun before the personal pronoun, as in:
"Charmaine, Henry, Nic's and my last day at work"?

Appreciate your advice on the above, please.

Thanks!

Regards,
Tim

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