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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




Good Evening,
In above mentioned example ,:We are having a party at John’s house. [there is only one possessive noun with 's]
Can the sentence be written like this .
We are having a party at John's wife's house.

Hello asr09,

Yes, both of those sentences are fine. You can have multiple possessives in one sentence, though you need to be careful that the sentence does not become hard to follow. Two possessives is certainly fine, but more than that is unusual.



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you

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

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,


The LearnEnglish Team

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,
The LearnEnglish Team


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,
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.