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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


Possessives: nouns 2




i not undersand this web site what i can do this website so plzz help me i want to learn english

Hello pakistan12345678,

Welcome to LearnEnglish! My first suggestion would be to explore the site.  Use the links at the top of the page to go to different sections and see what kinds of materials are available.  Get a feel for the level of difficulty of different sections so you can see what will be most useful to you at the moment.

Then start with something that is not too high a level. Many users find the Elementary Podcasts Series Three a good place to start.  Work through the episodes, and remember that you can use the transcript to help you, or to read and listen to at the same time after you have done the exercises. As you work, it's important to keep a vocabulary notebook. Organise it by topic ('work', 'family', 'food', etc.) and add words and phrases to it as you go through the material.  Test yourself regularly to see if you remember the words.

Finally, practise English every day, even if it's only for 10 minutes. You can study the vocabulary you've recorded, listen to an Elementary Podcasts episode again, or if you have a friend who is also learning English, practise speaking with them. You can also practise by yourself, just speaking English when you are alone at home or at work.  This kind of practice is great for developing fluency in speaking, so that when you need to use English in the 'real' world you are ready and confident.

Good luck!

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk,
Thank you very much for the clarification about "Have". My other Question is about " 's" . we say ,for example, David 's friend or my friend's name to show possession. If we have several " 'S " do we use just last 's ? For example which one of these phrases is right? " David friend 's name" or David's friend's name.
Best Regards

Hello shadyar,

Both David's friend and my friend's name are grammatically correct.

The correct phrase from your last two is the second: David's friend's name [the name of the friend of David].

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi everyone......can anybody help me with me if it's correct or not.....can i say, (that is a ladies shoe)

Hi joe,

This should probably be ladies' shoe, though after doing a quick search of the internet, I see many instances where just ladies shoes is used. The rest of the phrase is correct.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there,

I was thinking that maybe it could be helpful for us learners if you'd specify all the other usages/situations when the possessive 's is used. I'm talking about countries or cities (London's squares); time expressions/adverbials (today's match); distance or weigh expressions (a 300 kilometres' journey); shops, restaurants, churches and colleges (the grocer's, the dentist's, the chemist's, Saint Mary's, Mario's).
An important difference is not illustrated in your examples: Tom and Jane's parents v. Tom's and Jane's parents.

Thanks for reading this. Regards.

My question is simple. Can "my wife's" be a contraction for "my wife is" or is it only a possessive?

Hello A Dawg,

The apostrophe s in 'my wife's' can be both a contraction for the verb 'is' as well as a possessive form.

Best wishes,
LearnEnglish Team

Help needed please. If i am writing SIXTIES BLUES (ie, the blues of the 1960s), should it be SIXTIES' BLUES?