Possessives

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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Hello Abdullah,

All of those forms could be correct depending on what you mean, but in general, the plural forms ('teachers' room' and 'mothers' wombs') are probably the ones you're looking for, assuming that there's more than one teacher. 

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Babar Munir Khar 提交于 周二, 16/08/2016 - 16:12

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Kindly guide me how can i use twice properly ???

Hello Barbar Munir Khar,

We can't really provide long lists of rules and examples in the comments sections. Perhaps you have a particular sentence you are unsure of - we'll be happy to comment on it if so.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Viktorija 提交于 周四, 21/07/2016 - 08:47

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Hi, which one is correct: Turn on the system`s power supply or Turn on the system power supply? Thank you

Hello Viktorija,

The first sounds better to me, but the second is perfectly clear.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

bsamba 提交于 周六, 02/07/2016 - 11:22

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Hi, Which sentence would be considered to be correct? 'What are we going to do with THAT freedom we have?' Or 'What are we going to do with THE freedom we have?' Many thanks

Hell bsamba,

Unless you're speaking about a specific freedom (e.g. the freedom of speech, freedom of religion), then 'the' would probably be better. Our this, that, these and those page may be of interest to you.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

The_Unknown 提交于 周二, 28/06/2016 - 15:54

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Sir, I often get confused between adjective and verb. Adjective and Verb both implying the action of noun. So how you identify this is adjective or verb?

Hello The_Unknown,

An adjective tells you more about a noun, i.e. a person, place or thing, but it doesn't necessarily imply action. For example, 'That monkey is old.' 'old' tells us what the monkey is like. A verb describes something a noun does or the condition of the noun, e.g. 'That old monkey is eating a mango'. 'is eating' describes an action. 

You might want to do an internet search for 'difference between adjectives and verbs' – I'm sure you'll find lots of useful explanations that will help you.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Afia shakir khan 提交于 周二, 26/04/2016 - 08:04

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hello, are these sentences right 1. the room was got painted by him. 2. the clothes were got washed by me. please tell me.

Hello again Afia shakir khan,

When using 'get' in the passive, it replaces 'be'. So, for example, 1 could be either 'The room was painted' or 'The room got painted', but not 'The room was got painted'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

English-wonder 提交于 周三, 23/03/2016 - 00:29

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Dear sirs, I would like to thank you in advance for you help. I would be most grateful if you can clear my confusion regarding possessive nouns. The general rule is to add " 's " at the end of the singular nouns to show possession e.g. Adam's car. However, does the same rule apply for objects such as companies? At work and when I read books, sometimes I come objects that contain " 's" to show possession while other times they do not. For example, can we say the company car or the company's car? Alternatively, if we are referring to a specific company e.g. Google, should we write "Google employees or Google's employees"? Furthermore, are the two following sentences grammatically correct? 1- This document is Amazon board of director meeting minutes or 2- This document is Amazon's board of director meeting's minutes? Thanks.

Hello English-wonder,

You are correct that we use 's to create a possessive form, and this is true for company names as much as any other noun:

Google's employees have good working conditions.

Ford's cars are very popular.

However, we can also use company names as adjectives:

Google employees have good working conditions.

Ford cars are very popular.

In certain contexts the adjective is the normal choice.

In the sentence you quote we would be most likely to use the company name as an adjective:

This document is the Amazon board of directors' meeting's minutes.

However, the style is poor here because there are too many 's in a row before the noun. A better style would be:

This document is the minutes of the Amazon's board of directors' meeting.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Annedy 提交于 周一, 08/02/2016 - 08:44

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Hi how does it work for two singular names created a group? E.g. Maria and Johns car....I'm tempted to put john's but if it's more than one person is it Maria and Johns' ?

Hello Annedy,

Just one apostrophe in the normal position is needed in a case like this: 'Maria and John's car' (or 'John and Maria's car'). If each of them had a different car, then you could say 'Maria's and John's cars', but that is not what you mean as far as I understand.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

toto0119 提交于 周一, 02/11/2015 - 07:03

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Hello, "In this Gallery, visitors can enjoy a remarkable art collection including world-famous Impressionist and Post Impressionist masterpieces." In this sentence, would it be possible to put "Impressionist's masterpieces"?

Hello toto0119,

No, while that would be perfectly intelligible, it would not be correct. 'Impressionist' is a noun, but is used like an adjective here. This is common with other nouns (e.g. 'milk jug', 'fish tank') and something that you just have to check in dictionaries or example texts to see how they are used.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Tanjona 提交于 周五, 30/10/2015 - 08:21

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Hello, learnenglish team! I d like to understand the real use of possessive case. in this example, which one of these two forms is correct? and if both are correct, what is the difference in terms of meaning? "farmer plant" or "farmer's plant" and "David's ball" or "David ball" thanks, kind regards Tanjona

Nandishchandra 提交于 周三, 14/10/2015 - 14:59

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Hi Team, Down below i have two sentences related to preposition 'of' . 1.Total number of requests. 2.Total number of request. Should we request or requests after 'of'? Please comment below. Thanks... Best Regards, Nandish

Hello Nandish,

'requests' is the correct form here. The phrase 'total number' implies the idea of more than one; even if the number is only one, or even zero, the idea is there and so the plural is used after it.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

krishna0891 提交于 周五, 11/09/2015 - 03:01

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hi brish council team i have a doubt in some sentences please corrct it. The sentences are 1.If tomorrow is declared a holiday,we shall go to a picnic. 2. Raju found it difficult to explain his final exams marks to his parents. 3.My friend become terribly upset after losing her purse at the super market.

akatsuki 提交于 周日, 30/08/2015 - 07:28

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What does 's' mean here? David Beckham's Miami MLS edges closer as terms agreed for site of stadium. From what I know 'edge' means side there.

Hello akatsuki,

'Edge' here is a verb which means 'to move slowly'.

To look up words like this I suggest using our Cambridge Dictionaries Online tool, which you can find on the right of the page.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks, Peter M. So, what is the role ofthe possessive 's in this sentence? David Beckham's Miami MLSedges closer as terms agreed for site of stadium. This usage of 's is rather weird to me.

Hello akatsuki,

I think the wikipedia article on Miami MLS might clear this up for you. We're happy to help, but you too can try using the internet to look for this kind of information.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

afshinazem 提交于 周五, 14/08/2015 - 01:51

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Hello, would you please tell me the difference between ' it's my pleasure ' and ' it's my honor ' ? Thanks!

Hello adshinazem,

We can say 'It's my pleasure' when someone thanks us for doing something. It is rather formal but still used in some contexts.

'It's my honour' is a correct sentence but is not used commonly in any particular context. It sounds rather archaic - like something you might hear in a film about medieval times, for example.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

AbdulMohsin 提交于 周五, 10/07/2015 - 07:11

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Good Morning Thanks for for your quick response. please correct" Pen was in my Coat's pocket "

Hello AbdulMohsin,

The correct form would be

The pen was in my coat pocket.

Please note that our role here is to maintain the site and help users with the material on the site, not to offer a correction service whenever needed. If we tried to do this then we would have no time for anything else!

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

AbdulMohsin 提交于 周三, 08/07/2015 - 12:54

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Hello Every one 1" We are sending XYZ co 's Materials on SIT & Co's trailer." Please Correct I am pretty confused about possessive 2. Please find the attached invoice being due. Thanks

Hello AbdulMohsin,

1 looks correct to me. In 2, I'd change 'being due' to a relative clause, something like ', which is now due'.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

misam 提交于 周六, 23/05/2015 - 06:07

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Hi please help me to figure out the differences between 's and of about possession I have explored a lot of web sites and books but i just don't seem to find my answer. thanks a million.

Peter M. 提交于 周六, 23/05/2015 - 10:51

misam 回复

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Hello misam,

In most contexts there is no difference in meaning between, for example, 'The dog's paw' and 'The paw of the dog'. The second form sounds more formal and, in some contexts, old-fashioned, however.

If you have a particular example in mind then please post it and we'll be happy to comment.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Good morning Peter I am appreciative of your cooperation. I wonder if I could use this structure for persons. for example,"my father's house" or "house of my father." I am looking forward to your respond.

Hello misam,

Both of those phrases are fine. The second one sounds, as I said in the earlier answer, more formal and a little old-fashioned.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Prem Isaac 提交于 周三, 20/05/2015 - 14:32

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Hi please help me with this question, When calling an insurance and giving information to the representative is it right to use these statements with an apostrophe "s"? 1. The patient's name is........... 2. The patient's date of birth is............. 3. The member's id is ................ 4. The provider's tax id is ................ which of the above statements would have the apostrophe "s" and which ones would not? Regards Prem Isaac

Hello Prem Isaac,

The statements all look correct to me. In number 3, 'member ID' is also possible, but it really depends which ID you're talking about. Are you talking about the member's national ID number, for example? If so, then this is correct with the 's. If, however, you're talking about the member's membership ID number, i.e. their insurance ID number, then the compound noun 'member ID' would make more sense here.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Michele Steele 提交于 周六, 02/05/2015 - 15:16

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Help! I am having difficulty explaining the sentence 'I don't understand his not getting the job' to a Chinese friend - specifically why we replace 'why he didn't get' with 'his not getting'. Can anyone help me? Thank you

Hello Michele,

Although it's not listed on our verbs followed by -ing clauses page, 'understand' is one such verb that is commonly followed by a verb in the -ing form. A possessive adjective such as 'his' (or, in some varieties, an object pronoun, e.g. 'him') can be used before the verb in -ing form to indicate who you're talking about, as in this example.

You could certainly say it with 'why he didn't get', but, as if often the case, shorter ways of saying things are often preferred.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Verofiya 提交于 周三, 08/04/2015 - 13:18

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Dear Peter and Kirk, Could you please assist me with below. I am absolutely confused with usage of possessions with the names of the restaurants. As I understood if an organization such as school, bank, hotel or restaurant got its name from someone’s family name, then possession must be used. Example: Hilton’s hotel But what if the name of the restaurant is Pool Bar or Rainbow. What will be the correct question: What are Pool Bar’s/Rainbow’s operating hours? Or What are Pool Bar/Rainbow operating hours? On the same note could you please tell me if we need to use “the” before the name of the restaurant Thank you very much in advance. Veronika

Hello Veronika,

I'm afraid there are no fixed rules for these kinds of names. Often the possessive form is used (e.g. McDonald's), but sometimes it is not (e.g. The Hilton Hotel).

If we are asking about the opening hours then we use the possessive form.

Restaurant names usually have 'the' before them (e.g. 'The Chef's Pantry') but this is not always the case (e.g. 'Hell's Kitchen').

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Peter, Thank you very much for your reply. Could you please let me know in which cases we don’t use possessions then. It will really help me not to make grammar mistakes in the future. Thank you very much Regards, Veronika

Kattty 提交于 周六, 04/04/2015 - 20:39

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I'm too worried about for it, that how can i improve my communication skill :( can anyone hep me ??

Hi Kattty,

I'd recommend you look at our Help page, where you can find advice on how to use LearnEnglish to improve your speaking and listening.

Good luck!

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Could you please help me how can I improve my English skills. Thanks

Kirk 提交于 周二, 10/03/2015 - 07:41

Vaad 回复

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Hello Vaad,

There is practical advice on how to use LearnEnglish to improve your English on our Help page. Good luck, and let us know if you have a question.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

StrangeGr 提交于 周一, 29/12/2014 - 16:41

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Hi can someone tell me pls where can i be in touch with teacher Tom ?

Hello StrangeGr,

Could we help you with whatever it is that you wanted to ask teacher Tom?

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Abenezeraddis 提交于 周二, 11/11/2014 - 17:03

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