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

Section: 

Comments

Hi Kirk,
I would like to ask which one is right
"Cerys's party invitation" or "Cerys' party invitation"
Thank you for your help
Lucie

Hello Lucie,

I understand the person's name is Cerys. In this case both forms are possible. In the same way we can say either of these:

James' car

James's car

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi
My friend uploded a pic on facebook of a tattoo he had made for a person and he wrote above the pic " john drawing ".
My enquiry is that in a case like that we say " john drawing " or " john's drawing " ?
Thanks alot .

Hello Elias hamwi,

It sounds like your friend should have said 'John's drawing', or perhaps just 'My drawing'. If I had made a tatoo for someone and posted a photo of it online, I'd probably say 'A tatoo I drew' (or 'made').

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

you are great!!!! may you live long sir.

Hi!

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,
Kirk
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,
Kirk
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.

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