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Grammar Books

Possessive Case

The possessive case is used to show ownership. (Lynne's website.)

The good news is that the genetive case is used less and less in English today. Hooray!

You may still hear someone say something like "The mother of the bride," but it could equally be; "The bride's mother."

However, the possessive pattern ('s) is generally used when indicate a relation of ownership or association with a person, rather than a thing.

For example:-

  • Lynne's web site kept growing larger and larger.

There are, as ever, exceptions to this rule. When a group of people is involved or animals.

For example:-

  • The members' forum.
  • The dogs' tails.

Singular and irregular plural nouns that don't end in 's' take -'s.

For example:-

  • Lynne's web site.
  • The people's court.

Plural nouns that end in " s " take an apostrophe at the end ( ' ).

For example:-

  • The girls' dresses.

People's names that end in "s" you can write (') or ('s).

For example:-

  • Charles' job was on the line.

or

  • Charles's job was on the line.

Try to avoid sounding like hissing Sid though. When an added - s would lead to three closely bunched s or z sounds just use an apostrophe at the end.

  • The map of Ulysses' journey.

If you have to show joint ownership, give the possessive form to the final name only.

Pronouns and determiners are inflected to show the possessive case.

Personal Pronoun/Determiner

Lynne's
Lynne's
My
Mine
Your
Yours
His
His
Her
Hers
Its
Its
Our
Ours
Their
Theirs
Whose
Whose

For example:-

  • This is Lynne's web site. It's my website!. It's mine!
  • It's not Zozanga's web site. It's not his website. It's not his.
  • Have you seen her book? It's her book. It's hers.

Genitive Case

You should still use the genetive case when talking about things that belong to other things.

For example:-

  • The door of the car.
  • The content of the website.
  • The top of the page.

!Tip - If you aren't sure what to use stick to (of the).

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