What Are Possessive Nouns?
'Possessive nouns' are nouns that mainly show possession or belonging.
How to Make Possessive Nouns?
Using a Singular Noun Ending With S
When the singular noun ends in the sound 's' we cannot add apostrophe s at the end of the possessive noun. As a result, only an apostrophe is added at the end of the noun. For example:
In my idea,
Using Plural Nouns
With plural nouns ending in -s, we should only add ' (an apostrophe) to the noun. For example:
here in this example, the house belongs to more than a person because the apostrophe is used after 's.'
This example refers to a playroom owned by two or more kids.
This example refers to a playroom owned by one kid.
Using Irregular Plural Nouns
With irregular plural nouns that do not have the plural s, we add 's. For example:
Plural nouns like 'sheep, deer, etc.' that are the same as the singular noun take 's to make possessive nouns. Like:
The plural form of the noun 'deer' is 'deer.'
Hyphenated or Compound Words
Joined Possessive Nouns
If two or more nouns have the possession of something or somebody, we only add 's to the last word. For example:
Jane and Paul
If 's comes after each one of the possessors, it means that each person owns a different thing. Look:
Possessive Nouns or Not?
Possessive nouns are usually followed by 's or just apostrophe ('). Do not mix it with the contracted form of the verb is or was and the subject. Take a look:
In this example, there is a noun after 's so the noun before the 's is considered a possessive noun.
Here after the verb 'is' there is an adverb which makes it clear that the 's is not a possessive 's.
What Are the Uses of Possessive Nouns?
- Possessive nouns are used to show the relationship between two people. For example:
Here, 's shows the relationship between the mother and the son.
This is Anna
- Possessive nouns are used to show something belongs to someone or to an animal. Look:
I want to look at Picasso
- Possessive nouns are used to show a temporal association. We often use a possessive form with time adverbs like, tomorrow, yesterday, today, next week, this year, etc. Look:
This structure can also be used with the preposition for : the lesson
He gave me a
- Possessive nouns are used to replace a full noun phrase to avoid repetition. Look:
Is that Adam
No, it's John's house.")
- Sometimes possessive nouns refer to places. It is used to refer to shops, restaurants, churches and colleges, using the name or job title of the owner. Look at the examples:
I'm going to the
(Doctor's) means the doctor's work place, here.
Let's eat at The
We can also use of to show relationships and belongings. For example:
However, possessive nouns are more standard to show belonging.
Anna's father = the father
Grammatically, it sound correct but the possessive form is more frequent.
Useful Points about Possessive Nouns
Below, there are some points about possessive nouns. If you want to learn this lesson in detail, take a look:
'S with Inanimate Nouns
Inanimate nouns are those that don't refer to living things. They're not names of people or animals. Let's see when it's correct to use 's with an inanimate noun:
- We use 's when the noun refers to a group of people and collective activity.
We do not mean Manchester, the city. We mean Manchester as a sport community, a group of sport's fan.
- When we refer to the city, itself (and not the people in that city) it is recommended that we do not use 's.
The weather in Manchester (Not "
Here in this example, It is better not to use 's.
Here, the people of Manchester have organized a team.
- When we name a team, we do not need to use 's. Note that for names of the sports teams, simply use the name of the city without 's.
Here, the Manchester is a location or hometown, not the people of Manchester.
Possessive Nouns vs. 'of'
You might come across this question: When should we say 'the book's cover' and when should we say 'the cover of the book'?
We can use both 's and of for demonstrating relationships or belongings. Look:
However, the possessive noun is more frequent.
Possessive Nouns vs. Noun Modifiers
Noun modifiers are used to show
1. a part of a whole
Possessive nouns have such functions as well. Take a look at some examples:
the car speakers = the speakers
the kitchen sink = the sink
part of a whole
'Possessive pronouns' help us show possession or ownership in a sentence. We can use a possessive pronoun instead of a full noun phrase to avoid repeating words. For example:
The class is all
Do not touch it. That's
'Possessives' are forms that we use to talk about possessions and relations between things and people.
|Possessive determiners||Possessive pronouns||Possessive nouns|
|Singular||my, your, his, her, its||mine, yours, his, hers, its||Adam's house|
|Plural||our, your, their||ours, yours, theirs||the kids' playroom|
|The contraction of the term is||The contraction of the term has||Showing possession|
|Using apostrophe s as a contraction||
- What Are Possessive Nouns?
- What Are the Uses of Possessive Nouns?