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.





Thank you for the reply Krick.
I have been using Cambridge Dictionary site for reference but it is not so comprehensive as it was on this site with examples and different scenarios. Anyhow, it is Ok and I hope it is will be restored.



Dear Peter M
why we put this like this
These are men’s shoes

Hello uk2781,

Could you please explain more specifically which part of the sentence you don't understand?

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

They were looking at the manager's email." How many people sent the email?
I answered this question with "more than one" and I was told that my answer is wrong.
can you tell me what is the wrong with this answer

Hello Islam Muhammad El-Awady,


The key here is the position of the apostrophe. If we say

the manager's email

then we are talking about one manager.


If we say

the managers' email

then we are talking about more than one manager.


This example is therefore about one manager and so the correct answer is not 'more than one'.


I hope that clarifies it for you.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

is it correct when I write " two minutes'thought"?
thank you

Hello lisa Tran,

It may be, depending on the context!


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi sir, could the 's be used for inanimate objects?
Ex: Wonderland's owner, he is the land's owner, she is the phone's owner, the factory's owner.

do these are grammatical correct?

Hello Alice88,

It's possible but in these and many other cases it would sound a bit strange to use the 's with inanimate objects; a phrase with 'of' or a compound noun could be used. We get a lot of questions that are similar to yours, so you might find it useful to read through other users' questions and our answers below on this page, where I think you'll find relevant material. Notice that there are several pages of questions and answers to read through - I'd suggest going to at least page 2 or 3 to get a good sense. If that doesn't help you and you still have another question, please let us know.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team


In these examples about possessives nouns, references to people are done, but... what about animals, or things?

What of these are the correct expressions?

* The case of the phone
* The phone's case
* The food of the dog
* The dog's food