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.





Hello David Araque,

The correct sentence would be as follows:

Her daughter's first two names are Mary and Jane.

We would probably use 'and' here just to make it clear we are listing two names.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much dear Peter.
Merry Christmas.

Hi guys, love the website, many thanks. One question concerning the possessive 's, I don't know how to write (or even say) this sentence grammatically correctly, please help! Are any of these correct?

He wanted his brother's, Tommy's, toy.
He wanted his brother, Tommy's, toy.
He wanted his brother's, Tommy, toy.
He wanted his brother's - Tommy - toy.

Any help would be very much appreciated, thanks!

Hello theluggage,

I would say that there are two ways to say this:


He wanted his brother Tommy's toy.

He wanted his brother's, Tommy's, toy.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


As far as I understand " 's " can be used with the names referring to countries, animals, organisations, and people, however there are some examples which don't follow the rules such as "A fortnight's holiday", or " one of the city's community", and thus I am confused . I would appreciate if you help me through this matter.

Hello bany,

The general rule you mention is correct most of the time, but there are some other cases -- plus a fair amount of inconsistent use -- when 's is also used. For example, we often use it to measure time, so you can see phrases like 'a day's work', 'three hours' delay' or 'a fortnight's holiday'. A similar use is 's with the word 'worth' to measure value: 'ten rials' worth of almonds'.

I'd say that 'one of the city's community' follows the general rule because we can conceive of the city as a kind of organisation or group of people.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Peter,
Many thanks for your prompt explanation on the use of 'already' in negative sentences.
I have another issue I would like to ask a favor of you. I have seen that the use of
"to be + yet + to + verb" and "to have + yet + to + verb" are often used interchangeably, e.g.:
[A] I am yet to contact him.
[B] I have yet to contact him.

[1] Are both of the structures grammatically correct ?
[2] What is the exact difference in meaning between these two structures?

Thank you.
Best regards,

Hi Melvin,

Both of these structures are correct. They are used in formal language and there is no difference in meaning between them that I am aware of. There may be a slightly difference in implication, with 'have yet to contact...' suggesting that contact is planned or has been attempted without success' but I honestly think the two forms are used interchangeably in modern English.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Peter,
Thanks so much for your prompt reply.
I am not so clear about what you mean by "it is most often used when we are talking about a process or a particular sequence of actions which form a process of some kind rather than a one-off, self-contained act". Could you possibly give me a few simple examples where 'already' is used in the negative sentences with some remarks to show the differences with the use of 'yet' instead.
Your help would be very much appreciated.

Best regards,

Hello Melvin,

'Already' with a negative form is an alternative to 'yet' in certain contexts and, as I said, is used in formal language. The form tends to be used when there is a sequence of steps which will be (or are expected to be) completed in time as part of a process or set of instructions, rather than single actions which may or may not occur. For example, we would be unlikely to use already with a negative form in these examples:

I haven't been to Spain yet. [not I have not already been to Spain]

The government had not yet reached a decision. [not The government had not already reached a decision]


This is not a question of a grammar rule which can be clearly definted, I think, but rather a description of a tendency in how these forms are used. The most common use of already in negative sentences is certainly in conditional clauses, which are an expression of the sense of expectation that I referred to above.

You can find a discussion of the same topic on this forum.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team