Level: beginner

We add 's to singular nouns to show possession:

We are having a party at John's house.
Michael drove his friend's car.

We add ' to plural nouns ending in -s:

This is my parents' house.
Those are ladies' shoes.

But we use 's with irregular plural nouns:

men women children people

These are men's shoes.
Children's clothes are very expensive.

We can use a possessive instead of a full noun phrase to avoid repeating words:

Is that John's car?
     No, it's Mary's. (NOT No, it's Mary's [car].)

Whose coat is this?
     It's my wife's.
 (NOT It's my wife's [coat].)

Possessives: nouns 1

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Possessives: nouns 2

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Comments

Hi,

I think the "it's" at the end is incorrectly used to show possessiveness taking place of a noun. Shouldn't it be "its"? "it's" is a contraction form of "it is."

Thanks,
llin

Hi llin,

It's is correct here. The meaning is 'The coat is my wife's', but we replace 'The coat' with 'It' to avoid repetition:

Whose coat is this?

The coat is my wife's > It is my wife's > It's my wife's.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
The party was organised by the Smith family. = It was the ___ party.
In the test, the answer correct is: Smiths'
my answer is: Smith's
I dont'n why is that so?

Best

Hello Vane0610

When we speak about a family by using their surname, for example 'Smith', we can say 'the Smith family' or, more commonly, 'the Smiths' -- notice that this is plural. This is why the correct answer is Smiths' and not Smith's in this context.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

correct these sentences by using possessive noun?
1) the chairs' legs are broken.
2) this is my locks' key.
3) the cap of the boy is red.
4)have you seen the nest of a bird?
5) the gardens' gate is not open.
please help me to solve these sentences

Hello zainab Shah

Is this perhaps homework? We're teachers here at LearnEnglish and believe that homework is important, so we're not keen on answering such questions.

One rule that might help you is that when the possessor is a person, animal or group of people, we usually use 's instead of the word of to indicate possession. This means that sentence 3 should be 'The boy's cap is red', for example, and in 4 you should say 'bird's nest'.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Good evening. Is "the school's name is St Mary's" an acceptable alternative to " The name of the school is St. Mary's" ?

Hello soniae

Yes, it is. We tend to use the possessive s when the possessor is a person or animal or some kind of group of living beings (e.g. a country, a government or a school).

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Which sentence is correct?
The protagonist's, Bob, role is diverse.
OR
The protagonist, Bob's, role is diverse.

Hi Tara

I would recommend avoiding the issue by saying 'The role of the protagonist, Bob, is diverse' or 'The protagonist's role is diverse. For example, Bob ...'

If you do an internet search for 'possessives with appositive forms' or something similar, you can find people making different suggestions about this sort of issue. I'm not a trained professional editor, but I think many would make the same recommendation I have.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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