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Possessives are forms that we use to talk about possessions and relationships between things and people. They take different forms depending on how they are used.

Read clear grammar explanations and example sentences to help you understand how possessives are used. Then, put your grammar knowledge into practice by doing the exercises.  

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is there any problem with your website?

I think yes!

Hello Nabul,

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The LearnEnglish Team

I've got one question. Is this title correct?
'The Saint Apostle Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians'
' The Epistle of Saint Apostle to the Ephesians'.
As far as I can remember, we use possessive 's for people. But there are some cases in which we can use 'of'...
Also, I thought that I could use some synonims: disciple=apostle; epistle=letter.
Which is the appropriate title when it comes to academic writing?
Thank you.

Hi Marua,

There are different ways of referring to this book, including 'The Epistle to the Ephesians' or simply 'Ephesians'. I'm not very knowledgeable about the Bible, but when referring to Paul, what sounds natural to me is 'Saint Paul', 'Paul the Apostle' or 'the Apostle Paul' -- I think it's unusual to combine 'saint' and 'apostle' in the same title, though I may be wrong about that.

You're right in thinking that the possessive 's is usually used to refer to possessions, relationships and physical characteristics of people or animals, though we also use it with words that refer to groups of people (e.g. 'government' and countries). There are many exceptions to this rule, however, and when the noun phrases involved are complex, sometimes 'of' is used instead of 's.

In this case, I'd probably just say 'Epistle to the Ephesians', but if I wanted to include Paul, I'd probably say 'Saint Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians'.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

hi, I still cannot access the various sections of this page. Will it be fixed soon? Thanks

Hi gibology,

I'm very sorry for the inconvenience, but I'm afraid we haven't been able to fix it yet. I assure you we are working on it; in the meantime, you might want to look at the Grammar videos on LearnEnglish Teens or the Grammar section of the Cambridge Dictionary.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I can't view any lesson about the possessives case

Hello montseta,

Thanks for telling us about this. Our technical team is trying to fix this section. Hopefully the problem will be solved soon.

We're very sorry for the inconvenience!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I have a question and please answer it.

"Family" means wife or husband, children including adopted children, step children and parents living with the government servant.

Parents in the definition of family above will include only such parents whose monthly income does not exceed rupees 5000.

In the above sentence does it mean monthly income of individual parent or monthly income of both the parents in aggregation.