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Saxon Genitive - Possessive of Nouns

Possession is often indicated in English by adding 's or ' at the end of the noun indicating the possessor.
John owns a car. ('John' is the possessor) --> It is John's car.

Using 's and '

's is used:
  • after singular nouns
  • after irregular plurals (i.e., children, men, women)
' is used:
  • after plurals
  • surnames ending in -s (as Keats, Hughes)
  • classical nouns ending in -s (as Brutus)
    Examples:
  • The house of Simon --> Simon's house.
  • The room of the girls --> The girls' room.
  • The jobs of those men --> Those men's jobs.
  • The sister of Charles --> Charles's sister.
  • The death of Brutus --> Brutus' death.
  • The boat of the sailors --> The sailors' boat.
  • The fortune of Howard Hughes --> Howard Hughes' fortune.

With 2 or more possessors

  • If the object is common property, 's is added to the last possessor
  • If the object(s) is separate property, 's is added to each possessor
    Examples:
  • John and Susan are brother and sister --> John and Susan's parents
  • John and Susan are husband and wife --> John's and Susan's parents
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