Skip navigation:
 


Content
 

The 's-genitive

This is the woman's new houseThis is the woman's new house
Sometimes you will need to express a possessive relation between people or things. This means telling if someone/something belongs to someone/something.
In this case, you use an "'s" after the noun or the name. Take a look at the following example:
You have a book. But it is not your book, it is your friend's book. This means: the book belongs to your friend.
You add an 's to the noun that someone/something belongs to. Don't forget the apostrophe ' :
  • Anna's room: the room that belongs to Anna
  • her mother's bedroom: the bedroom that her mother sleeps in
  • the dog's coat: the coat that the dog has
  • the boy's bike: the bike that belongs to the boy
  • the woman's shoe: the shoe that belongs to the woman
If the noun is in the plural form and ends with the letter s, do not add another 's. Only add an apostrophe:
  • the boys' shirts: the shirts that belong to more than one boy
  • the girls' hats: the hats that belong to more than one girl
  • the schools' principals: the principals of many schools
Compare: the girl's hats: the hats that belong to one girl the girls' hats; the hats that belong to more than one girl
In spoken language, you can also use the 's-genitive without a noun following it, especially when you talk about a house or an apartment that belongs to someone:
  • I'm going to Johnny's. Then everybody knows that you talk about Johnny's place or house.
  • Meet me at Julia's.
  • I'm staying at Thomas's tonight.
  • I'm going to Maria's.
  • He's staying at the Smiths' today.
Note that when you want to form the s-genitive for a name that ends on "s", you have two possibilities: you can use "'s" or just the apostrophe. However, it is considered to be better English to use "'s". Therefore, you should stick to that in the exercises below.
Besides the s-genitive, there is also the of-genitive that you can use to express a possessive relation:
  • the boys' shirts the shirts of the boys
  • the girls' hats the hats of the girls
  • the woman's shoe the shoe of the woman
  • Anna's room the room of Anna
Practise the 's-genitive. Read the following sentences. Then decide what you need:
  • the possessive 's;
  • a plural s' with an apostrophe;
  • only an apostrophe '.
 
 
 
 
 
  1. A friend wants to ride Thomas
      bike.

     
  2. Johnny and Julia sleep in the same room. Johnny points to a bed: "This is my sister
      bed."

     
  3. "My Mum and Dad sleep here. This is my parent
      room."

     
  4. Her father is called John and her mother
      name is Jennifer.

     
  5. The car belongs to Andreas. So it is Andreas
      car.

     
  6. These bikes belong to the girls. The boys
      bikes are over there.

     
 
 
 
 
 
Practise the 's-genitive. Decide what you need:
  • the possessive 's;
  • a plural s' with an apostrophe;
  • only the apostrophe '.
Look at the example: The book of Anna Anna's book
 
 
 
 
 
  1. The dresses of the stewardesses. The stewardesses
      dresses.

     
  2. The house of her parents. Her parent
      house.

     
  3. The friend of Thomas. Thomas
      friend.

     
  4. The words of Jesus. Jesus
      words.

     
  5. The phone of the brother. The brother
      phone.

     
  6. The football of John. John
      football.

     
 
 
 
 
 
 

Talking about possession

Rewrite the sentences as shown in the example. Use a possessive relation. Example: Julia has a new sweatshirt. Julia's new sweatshirt
 
 
 
 
 
  1. Thomas has an old football.  

     
  2. Johnny has a new bike.  

     
  3. Andreas has a big house.  

     
  4. The kids have a great teacher.  

     
  5. Mr. Smith has a red car.  

     
  6. Anna has a beautiful ring.  

     
 
 
 
 
 
 

Learn more ...

Spread the word

 
 

Take a Tour

See the most important areas of the learning portal Start
 

Contribute

Use the contact form for suggestions and critique or to report bugs or content errors.
 
 
 

Stay tuned

 
 

 
Dictionary
  • Dictionary
  • English Dictionary

BETA

 Double click on any word  on the page or type a word:

Powered by DictionaryBox.com