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.






I am new candidate at the site plz guide me.

Hello Nida Ilyas,

Welcome! We're glad to see you here. I would recommend that you read our Getting started and Frequently asked questions page, which explain how to use our site. If you need any more help after that, please let us know.

By the way, your comments were not published immediately because we check all comments before they are published. This is how we keep our site free from spam and inappropriate posts. This means that it can take some hours before your posts are published. Since your other comments were repetitions of this one, I deleted them.

I just wanted to explain this to you for future reference.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Good afternoon dear users.
I would like you to tell me which is the correct order of this sentence:
Her first two daughters' names are Mary Jane.
Her daughter's first two names are Mary Jane.
Her first two daughter's names are Mary Jane.
Her daughters' first two names are Mary Jane.
Thank you.

Hello David,

I'm afraid none of these sentences are grammatically correct. If you changed 'Mary Jane' to 'Mary and Jane', then 1 would mean she has two daughters (one called 'Mary' and the other called 'Jane'); 2 would mean her one daughter has two first names ('Mary Jane', though really we call the second name a 'middle name', not a first name); 3 would still be incorrect; and 4 would mean she has two daughters -- both of them are called 'Mary Jane' (though really 'Jane' is a 'middle name').

That's rather complicated, but I hope it helps you.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Good morning dear Kirk.
Thank you very much for your explanation.
I just want to know why the 3rd sentence is wrong and also I would like to know what is the correct order of determiners and genitives.
I will appreciate your help.

Hello David,

Sentence 3: 'Her first two daughter's names are Mary Jane.'

'daughter's' refers to one girl, but the sentence mentions two, so it doesn't make sense on this level. Also it should probably say 'Mary and Jane' is they are two different names for two different girls.

In your sentences, there is no problem with word order. If you can explain what the names of the two girls are, I'll be happy to tell you how to express what you mean.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank so much dear Kirk for your help.
What I want to say is that she has one daughter. Her daughter has two or three names but I only want to say the first two which are Mary Jane.

Hello David Araque,

The correct sentence would be as follows:

Her daughter's first two names are Mary and Jane.

We would probably use 'and' here just to make it clear we are listing two names.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much dear Peter.
Merry Christmas.

Hi guys, love the website, many thanks. One question concerning the possessive 's, I don't know how to write (or even say) this sentence grammatically correctly, please help! Are any of these correct?

He wanted his brother's, Tommy's, toy.
He wanted his brother, Tommy's, toy.
He wanted his brother's, Tommy, toy.
He wanted his brother's - Tommy - toy.

Any help would be very much appreciated, thanks!