English Grammar

Possessive case example with Cases of Possessions

Possessive case

As a general rule, the possessive case in English is used to animate nouns that denote people and animals. Determines this accessory of the case, the possession of something different relationships. If it is a syntactic function word in the possessive case, then it is a function definition. Possessive case example

The possessive case ( the case possessive ) is a way of indicating ownership relationship between a word and another (usually used for animals and people, but also to things), instead of using the -of preposition, through the use of apostrophe followed by S:

  • The tail of the dog – The dog’s tail. (The dog‘s tail)
  • The father of the bride – The bride’s father. (The father of the bride)

Cases of Possessions

1. Something belongs to someone

We use the possessive case when we want to indicate that something belongs to someone and we do it in the following way: name (of the possessor) + ‘s + thing possessed . It would be translated by “the / the / the (possessed thing) of (name of the person who owns it)”. Let’s see an example:
Alice’s cat ( Alice’s cat ) 
Jamie’s jacket ( Jamie’s jacket )
Peter’s books (the books of Peter)
Anne’s suitcases ( Anne’s suitcases ) 
We don’t have to always use a person’s proper name. We can also use noun phrases  that refer to people, for example:
The manager ‘s office
The boy ‘s ball
Mr. Brown ‘s carMr. Brown ‘s car
If you notice, when we use the genitive with a proper name we do not put “the” ( Alice’s cat  ✓  The Alice’s cat ) but we do when we use other phrases ( The manager’s office  ✓ ) . Possessive case example
For things or places, the expression we use “of” is used, for example:
The roof of the room  → the roof of the room 
The name of the film  → the name of the film 
The capital of England  → the capital of England 
We never use “of” with people. 
The house of my sister My sister’s house  ✓

2. Friend’s (singular) Friends’ (plural)

Compare:
My friend ‘s house (the house of my friend )
My friends ‘ house (the house of my friends )

If the noun phrase that refers to the person is in the singular (my friend) we will put ‘s (my friend ‘ s house) If, on the contrary, the phrase is plural and ends in “s” (my friends), we only add an apostrophe behind (my friends  house). More examples:

My parents’ garden
My sisters’ names (the names of my sisters )
Plural words that do not end in “s”
Be careful with words like “children” that even if they don’t have “s” they refer to the plural. In this case, we must add  ‘s  to indicate the possessive.
The  children’s  party 
Women’s  clothes are usually cheap 
Words in the singular that end in “s”
If the noun or noun phrase is singular and ends in “s”, there are two options:
1. We also add ‘s. 
Thomas’s book
2. add only the apostrophe .
Thomas’ book 
 
Both ways are correct. It’s a matter of style. There are books that suggest the first and others that choose the second. Some people prefer the second because it is easier to pronounce. In any case, always try to use one or the other. Possessive case example

3. Joint and individual possession 

 
Joint possession:  the two subjects have something in common. In these cases ‘ s is added at the end of the phrase or in the last name.
Peter and Jane ‘s house
The dog and cat ‘s owner
Individual possession:  each one owns something separately. In this case, ‘sa is added to each name or phrase.
Peter ‘s and Jane ‘s jobs
The dog ‘s and cat ‘s dinner

4. Double possessive 

The possessive double is one in which two ways of expressing possession are mixed. For example:
My sister’s car (my sister’s car)
His brother’s flat (the floor of his brother)
In these examples, the possession is twofold:
1. my sister
2. his car (my sister’s)
= my sister’s car
Cases in which the noun after the apostrophe can be omitted: 
Peter’s car is better than Jamie’s. (Peter’s car is better than Jamie’s)
→  Jamie’s refers to “Jamie’s car”
A: Whose jacket is this? (Whose jacket is this?)
B: It’s my sister’s . (It’s from my sister)
→  Sister’s refers to “my sister’s jacket”
A: Where are you? (Where are you?)
B: I am at Helen’s  (I’m at Helen’s)
→  Helen’s refers to “Helen’s house“. The noun can be omitted when referring to a place. Other examples:
I was at Jane’s yesterday Possessive case example
When we went to France we stayed at my sister’s
NOTE: 
‘s in addition to possessive can also refer to is or has .
Possession  →  Kate’s dog (the dog of Kate) 
To be  →  Kate’s my sister (Kate ‘s sister)
To have  →  Kate’s got two dogs (Kate has two dogs)

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