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Possessives: nouns

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

Hey, there!

I have a question, for example if I want to use the possessive for nouns that end in "ch", "sh", or "h", how would they be spelled and pronounced?

For instance: Dash.

Dash's car is blue?

Hello Westley,

Regarding the spelling, all are usually spelled simply by adding 's: Dash's car, Rich's brother, Soh's sister.

As for the pronunciation of words ending with an 'sh' or 'ch' sound, a short vowel sound is pronounced between the end of the noun and the 's. The word 'Rich's', for example, is pronounced exactly like 'riches'; if you follow the link, you can click to hear the pronunciation. 'Dash's' sounds like the plural of 'dash': 'dashes'.

I can't think of a word that ends with an 'h' sound in English, so I'm afraid I can't say anything about the pronunciation of such a word. If you have one in mind, please let me know.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

 

Hi there.
I need your help to pick up the correct one please.
Should i say: Students Daily Activity
OR Students’ Daily Activity
I am not sure even if the sequence is correct.Should I say
Daily Students’ Activity

Hello bakh.sh85,

Both the second and third ones are correct, but mean different things. I suppose the second one is the one you mean -- it refers to the daily activity of the students. (Should it be 'activities'? If you want to emphasise that they do many different things, then you could make it plural. If you just mean all their work in general, 'activity' is fine.)

The third one means the activity of the daily students.

Hope this helps.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you sir
I really appreciate your helping.

According to that same question, are we supposed to say ‘Student’s Daily Activities’ if there are different activities such as Reading, Quizzes, etc?

Hello bakh.sh85,

Yes, that's right.

Be careful with the apostrophe with the word 'student', however:

> student's activities = 1 student

> students' activities = more than 1 student

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello teacher !
I have an example in the book named The Alchemist:
The boy could see in HIS FATHER'S (1) gaze a desire to be able, himself, to travel the world—a desire that was still alive, despite HIS FATHER'S(2) having had to bury it, over dozens of years, under the burden of struggling for water to drink, food to eat, and the same place to sleep every night of his life.
There are two possessives (1),(2) : HIS FATHER'S in this paragraph, is it the same meaning and structure teacher ?
Thank you !

Hello Jack,

That depends on how you classify them, but in general, yes, I'd say they're the same or at least similar. As for how they are different, in the first, the object is a noun ('gaze'), whereas in the second, the object is a phrase with a verb as its head ('having had to bury it').

I'm not sure if I've answered your question, so please let us know if you were asking about something else.

All the best,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

At the begining, I cannot figure out " having had to bury" is a phrase, it's so strange, I have never seen it. This is the reason why I am confused with the possessive "his father's". Can you help me to clarify what kind of phrase is it ?
Thanks .

Hello Jack,

It's possible to use a possessive form before a gerund. For example:

My friend sleeps a lot, but in spite of her sleeping she gets a lot of work done.

Your example is similar to this, but the possessive form is a noun with 's:

..a desire that was still alive, despite his father's having had to bury it, over dozens of years...

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

 

 

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