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Possessive Nouns

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We use possessive nouns to indicate ownership. Here are some examples:

That is Tracey's hat.
The children's toys are all over the floor.
James' brother has three motorbikes.
This is Tom and Susan's house.
Megan's brother’s car is very fast.

For singular nouns

Add an apostrophe and an safter the noun: 's
My sister's dress is purple. (The dress belongs to my sister)

When we have two owners linked by and, the 's comes after the second owner:
Tom and Susan's house is very beautiful. (The house belongs to both Tom and   Susan)

We can also have two possessive forms one after the other:
This is Michelle's sister's dress. (The dress belongs to Michelle's sister)

For plural nouns

After plural nouns that don't end in s, add 's:

The children's bags are in the car.

After plural nouns that end in s, just add an apostrophe

The boys' football match was cancelled.

When a name ends in s, we can form the possessive in two ways:
Add an apostrophe and an s: That's Agnes's phone.
Add just an apostrophe: Where is Agnes' phone?

Lesson by Nasreen, teacher at EC Cape Town

Complete these sentences with the correct possessive form:

  • 1. Last week was my _____ birthday.

  • 2. My _____ boyfriend' s parents live in Italy.

  • 3. Some _____ houses were damaged by the storm.

  • 4. Have you seen _____ car keys? She's always losing them.

  • 5. Mr and Mrs _____ dog is very friendly.

  • 6. The _____ shoes are the wrong colour.

  • 7. _____ dinner party is on Saturday.

  • 8. The _____ hats blew away in the wind.

  • 9. Our _____ name is Arthur.

  • 10. Michael's ___ screen is broken.