- How to Form the Possessive Case
- Fixed Expressions
Possessive nouns, also known as the possessive case, indicate ownership or belonging. The possessive form is used to show a relationship of possession between two nouns that refer to people, groups of people, countries, and animals.
Mary owns a book = Mary's book
The possessive form 's expresses the relationship of possession between Mary and the book she owns.
How to Form the Possessive Case
Rule 1: We use the possessive ’s to express that something belongs to a person, animal, or country.
These are Jim's gloves.
The possessive 's indicates that gloves belong to Jim.
Note: We also use the possessive ’s if the noun already ends with s.
This is James's ball.
The possessive 's is used with the noun James that already ends with s.
Rule 2: In the plural, we use the possessive ’s only with irregular plural forms.
These are children's toys.
Children is the irregular plural form of the singular noun child, so we can use the possessive 's with it.
Rule 3: In the plural regular forms that end with s, we only add an apostrophe.
This is the girls' room.
Girls is the plural regular form that ends with s, so we only add an apostrophe.
Rule 4: We can use the possessive form with of mostly for inanimate objects.
This is the result of our work.
The possessive form with of is used for inanimate object work.
Note: We can still use the possessive 's for inanimate objects if they have a clear connection to people.
the demographics of Argentina = Argentina's demographics
Demographics is a noun referring to inanimate thing, which has a clear connection to people, so both the possessive 's and form with of are correct.
Rule 5: We use the possessive ’s in fixed time expressions. Here are some of the examples:
- a day's work
- a month's pay
- today's newspaper
- in a year's time
Form the possessive noun. This is my mother___ recipe.