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,

As far as I understand " 's " can be used with the names referring to countries, animals, organisations, and people, however there are some examples which don't follow the rules such as "A fortnight's holiday", or " one of the city's community", and thus I am confused . I would appreciate if you help me through this matter.

Hello bany,

The general rule you mention is correct most of the time, but there are some other cases -- plus a fair amount of inconsistent use -- when 's is also used. For example, we often use it to measure time, so you can see phrases like 'a day's work', 'three hours' delay' or 'a fortnight's holiday'. A similar use is 's with the word 'worth' to measure value: 'ten rials' worth of almonds'.

I'd say that 'one of the city's community' follows the general rule because we can conceive of the city as a kind of organisation or group of people.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Peter,
Many thanks for your prompt explanation on the use of 'already' in negative sentences.
I have another issue I would like to ask a favor of you. I have seen that the use of
"to be + yet + to + verb" and "to have + yet + to + verb" are often used interchangeably, e.g.:
[A] I am yet to contact him.
[B] I have yet to contact him.

Questions:
[1] Are both of the structures grammatically correct ?
[2] What is the exact difference in meaning between these two structures?

Thank you.
Best regards,
Melvin

Hi Melvin,

Both of these structures are correct. They are used in formal language and there is no difference in meaning between them that I am aware of. There may be a slightly difference in implication, with 'have yet to contact...' suggesting that contact is planned or has been attempted without success' but I honestly think the two forms are used interchangeably in modern English.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Peter,
Thanks so much for your prompt reply.
I am not so clear about what you mean by "it is most often used when we are talking about a process or a particular sequence of actions which form a process of some kind rather than a one-off, self-contained act". Could you possibly give me a few simple examples where 'already' is used in the negative sentences with some remarks to show the differences with the use of 'yet' instead.
Your help would be very much appreciated.

Best regards,
Melvin

Hello Melvin,

'Already' with a negative form is an alternative to 'yet' in certain contexts and, as I said, is used in formal language. The form tends to be used when there is a sequence of steps which will be (or are expected to be) completed in time as part of a process or set of instructions, rather than single actions which may or may not occur. For example, we would be unlikely to use already with a negative form in these examples:

I haven't been to Spain yet. [not I have not already been to Spain]

The government had not yet reached a decision. [not The government had not already reached a decision]

 

This is not a question of a grammar rule which can be clearly definted, I think, but rather a description of a tendency in how these forms are used. The most common use of already in negative sentences is certainly in conditional clauses, which are an expression of the sense of expectation that I referred to above.

You can find a discussion of the same topic on this forum.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter,

Thanks so much for your prompt reply.
As you said that the use of 'already' in negative sentences is non-standard English, which
I would also think so because this particular usage is not found in English grammar books.

However, I have read on the internet that someone has quoted part of the sentences in British National Corpus, where 'already' is used in the negative sentence. Do you think it would be possible to replace the 'already' with 'yet' ? or do they have a special implication by using 'already' in the sentence ?

"In this chapter, I shall set out all those questions which are most frequently asked by prospective patients, and which have not already been covered in Chapter 1; and in Chapter 3, by giving details of the progress of one particular case, I shall endeavour to provide some idea of what to expect during a typical regression therapy session".

Thanks for your help.

Best wishes,
Melvin

Hello Melvin,

It is possible to replace 'already' with 'yet' in this sentence.

This is an example of a use of 'already' which typically occurs in formal contexts and is equivalent to 'thus far'. It is most often used when we are talking about a process or a particular sequence of actions which form a process of some kind rather than a one-off, self-contained act.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Kirk,

I have noticed that the word "already" is used in negative sentences, such as :

[1] I haven't seen the movie already.
[2] He hasn't got married already.

[A] What is the exact implication of using "already" in the negative sentences?
[B] What is the difference in meaning if we change "already" with "yet"?

I would appreciate your clear explanation. Thank you.

Best regards,
Melvin

Hello melvinthio,

I think this is a use of 'already' which is non-standard. I remember hearing it used in some local dialects, such as amongst some people from New York, but I'm afraid I'm not from New York and couldn't say too much about it. Certainly in British English and standard American English this use of 'already' is not standard, and I would replace the word in those sentences with either 'yet' or 'still' (placed before the verb phrase), depending on the context.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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