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.



My question is simple. Can "my wife's" be a contraction for "my wife is" or is it only a possessive?

Hello A Dawg,

The apostrophe s in 'my wife's' can be both a contraction for the verb 'is' as well as a possessive form.

Best wishes,
LearnEnglish Team

Help needed please. If i am writing SIXTIES BLUES (ie, the blues of the 1960s), should it be SIXTIES' BLUES?

Hello pipolata,

No apostrophe is needed here as 'sixties' functions as an adjective. You can say:

sixties music

music of the sixties

'60s music

music of the '60s

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

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