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

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Comments

hello all . yeasterday i was watching a movie and one person said to his friend.... (why don't you go over to Alice's) (what does "s" mean here) i'm wondering because there is no noun after "s" . please explain it to me

Hello naell,

The word 'place' or 'house' or 'flat' is often left out after a person's name + 's, so that means 'Why don't you go over to where Alice lives (Alice's flat, house, etc.).

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

now i get it. thank you kirk

Can we use ('s) with a noun refers to a non human ? e.g; I will meet you in the supermarket's car park.

Hello Ahmed,

Normally, 's is used with people, animals or a group of living beings. There are some exceptions to this, but it would be a bit unusual to say 'the supermarket's car park' – though people would certainly understand you. In some cases, like this one, you can form a compound noun, i.e. you can just say 'the supermarket car park'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Got it. Thank you Kirk for your help.

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

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