possessives: nouns


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.



Sir, can we use possessive of something
Ex: Aircraft's wings were broken
Have a nice day!

Hi Johnny,

In general, when a noun is not the name of a person or group of people, then of is used instead of 's, but there are many exceptions to this. Your sentence, for example, sounds all right to me, even though it breaks the rule. But in general, I'd recommend using of (e.g. the wings of the aircraft were broken), since aircraft is not a person or group of people.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Thari,

her can be used in different ways. It can be used as an object pronoun as well as a possessive adjective. hers is a possessive pronoun. I'd suggest you look at our possessives: adjectives and possessives: pronouns pages - I think they will help you understand the difference, but if not, please feel free to ask us. If you have a question, please make it as specific as possible.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk
Thank you very much for ur response.
it the following sentence correct?
Which Subjects' Exams have you given so far?

Hello AbdulMohsin,

That sentence is not correct but I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to say.  I'm guessing the question is directed at a student, and in that case you might say 'Which exams have you taken so far?'  There is no need to include the word 'subjects' as 'which exams' already contains that information.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team


we don't approve the developer's locating the factory so close to houses.
Why possessive has been used with developers normally?

Hello AbdulMohsin,

In the sentence you ask about, the 's connects a person (the developer) to an action (locating the factory so close to houses). You could use a possessive 's by saying, for example, "the developer's plans".

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

sir, i do not understand properly  the use of 's & s'  with  plural noun followed by  the second noun .we use s' with plural noun when this noun completely  belong to second noun.we use 's with plural noun when the second noun(after the first noun) is not completely belong to fixed plural noun (first noun).i want to know this reason is true or not.

Hello yogesh mani tripathi,

I'm afraid your question is still not clear to me.  The choice of 's or s' is not dependent on the second noun; it is dependent on the first noun (the one with the apostrophe) and whether this noun is singular or plural; ends in an -s or not; and is a proper noun (i.e. a name) or not.  All these rules are set out in my earlier reply - please take another look at these.  The second noun does not affect the apostrophe.

If I've misunderstood your question then please reply but try to include a concrete example as this will make it easier to understand what exactly you are asking about.  However, I cannot see at the moment any way in which the second noun affects the apostrophe on the first noun.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team