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

Hi,

I wanna ask how to show possession for a person whose name ending with 's' (e.g; Chris). Which one is correct:
1. Chris's book or
2. Chris' book

thanks

Hello whdinata,

Both forms are correct – use whichever you prefer, or if you're writing for a teacher or editor, it might be a good idea to ask them what they prefer. Please note that the pronunciation of these two forms is different, even though they mean the same thing. See this BBC page for an explanation of this.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hey Kirk,

Thanks for the explanation, note, and BBC link.

Hi there,
Really cool forum you have here, I was just wondering, is it correct to use the possessive s several times in a row, in the same sentence? as in: my brother's bag's colour
Thanks

Hello Saloua12,

Yes, that is perfectly correct. Of course, if there are too many in a row then the sentence can become hard to follow, but there is no grammatical rule preventing this kind of sentence.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

So what is the difference between these two sentences?
Life goals.
Life's goals.

Hello BahaaAr,

Both of them may well refer to the same thing - our ambition(s) in life.

Linguistically speaking, the first of these is a compound noun like 'postman', 'coffee table' or 'shoelaces'. The second is a possessive form.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir,
In the sentence- it was the conviction that whole classes of krystals would be waiting for their daughters.

Here what classes of krystals mean , where Krystal is a name.

Hello neh7272,

I can't say for sure without knowing the context, but it sounds as if they mean that their daughters are likely to encounter many girls like Krystal in the future.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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