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

What to do when you have a long noun phrase, especially the one that contains apposition, which part of it should indicate possession? Is it "his son's John's car" or "his son John's car"?

Hello ivy07,

The second option is the correct one here: 'his son John's car'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I am looking for the correct spelling for the following and how the word Gent's with the apostrophe should be spelt when referring to selling a product:
Should it be Ladies' and Gent's watch or Ladies' and Gents' watch

Hello identityinc,

The word here is short for gentleman/gentlemen: gent and gents, respectively. In your example you are using the plural form and so it should be:

Ladies' and gents' watches

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Do you want the ladies and gents to be singular or plural?

Lady's and Gent's [or Gentleman's] watch
or
Ladies' and Gents' [or Gentlemen's] watches

why when we say " That's my friend's house" it means only one person live in that house
Best wishes

Hello cathygomez,

Actually, that question in the exercise needs to be changed because, as you point out, that sentence doesn't necessarily mean that only one person lives there. What it means is that your one friend lives there (not your other friends), but his or her could also live there with him or her.

Thanks for asking - I'll add that to our list of exercises that need correcting!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,
Which of the following phrases correct?
- Student's name or student name

Best wishes

Hello Abdullah,

Both forms could be used, but they tend to be used in different contexts. The former is probably more common than the latter.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

do we use 's for possession of things to things too? cause I remember from old days that it is used only for possession of human or live creatures to things. for ex:
1. john's book
but not:

2. car's door..instead we should say : the door of the car or car door

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