This possessives page brings together information about

  • possessive nouns
  • possessive adjectives
  • possessive pronouns
  • questions
  • reciprocal pronouns  




Hello. I'm very confused about an example that I've read on the Cambridge dictionary; it is about the possessive 's and it says like this:

'Greg is her youngest daughter’s husband'.

I can't clearly understand what it means, but I guess that it has been said in a situation like this:

For instance, somebody is talking about 'Greg", who is someone's youngest daughter. In this case, for example, that person could be John. So, Greg is John's youngest daughter. Nonetheless, there is a third person that is not being referred: John's wife, whose name is Mary. That means that someone is referring to Greg, who is John's youngest daughter but not Mary's daughter (she -Greg- is Mary's stepdaughter).

Am I correct? Could you please tell me what the correct answer is?
Thank you beforehand.

Hello Daniel H,

The sentence is much simpler than you are making it, I think. Greg is not someone's youngest daughter; Greg is married to someone's youngest daughter. Another way to say the sentence would be

Greg is the husband of her youngest daughter.

I hope that clarifies it for you.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

i am confuse on this topic

Hello pintu94,

If you follow the links to the different pages in this section, you'll see explanations. If you have any specific questions about what you see on any of those pages, please feel free to ask us there.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, i'm quite confuse on this topic with the following reason, why we add s to some nouns to show the possesive while other nouns not, for example : Mark's car but Car door, Kathy's pen but pen writers. Would anybody explain it for me? Thank a lot.

Hi Thuong123,

When we want to show possession we add 's to the noun, as you say. The examples where there is no 's are different. In these the first word is not a noun, but an adjective. It can be confusing because the words have the same form:

This is my car ['car' is a noun]

My car door is scratched ['car' is an adjective describing the noun 'door']


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter,
Thanks for a reply. Can you please give me a clue how to distinguish whether nouns are adjectives or not? Thank you.

Hi Thuobg123,

I'm afraid the only answer is to recognise the function of the word from the context and from knowing common use; there is no rule which allows you to tell an adjective from a noun purely by its spelling.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Which of the following phrases is correct?
body of the animals
bodies of the animals


Hello naghmairam,

The first phrase is not correct as more than one animal does not share a body.

The second phrase may be correct, depending on the context. A definite article before 'bodies' seems likely, though this will depend on the context.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team