Learn English Grammar

(Courtsey: Grammar by Shri D.N. Basu)

Everybody should learn English grammar as English grammar teaches us to speak and write the English language correctly.

Case of Noun (continued)

Rules for forming the Possessive Case with -‘s

1. The Possessive Case of a singular noun is generally formed by adding an apostrophe (‘) and -s to the Nominative; as, Ram – Ram’s; man – man’s.

2. The Possessive Case of a plural noun ending in -s is formed by adding only an apostrophe (‘); as, boys – boys’. But if the plural does not end in -s, both the apostrophe (‘) and -s must be used; as, men’s, children’s.

3. To get rid of too many hissing sounds, -s is sometimes omitted; as conscience’ sake; goodness’ sake; Jewess’ eye; Moses’ Law.

But the following are also used –

Bass’s ale, Burns’s poetry, St. James’s Church; Douglas’s castle, mercy’s sake.

4. When there are two or more separate nouns in the Possissive case, the suffix -‘s is added to the last word when joint possession is meant; as, Ram and John’s firm.

But when separate possession is meant, the possessive suffix sould be added to each noun; as, Ram’s and John’s firms, i.e. separate firms; the king’s and the duke’s forces, i.e. two distinct forces.

5. Compound nouns and names consisting of several words, form their Possessive by adding -‘s to the last word; as, father-in-law’s house; ‘the Government of India’s orders was received late’; Alfred the Great’s tomb.

(a) When a noun in the Possessive cas is followed by another noun in apposition to it, the possessive suffix is add to the noun mentioned last; as ‘I went to Mr. Bose the lawyer’s house’; ‘he has sold his brother Hari’s book’.

(b) When many explanatory words follow a name, the -‘s is generally affixed to the name, if the governing noun is understood; but if the governing noun is expressed, “of” should be used for -‘s; as ‘Iwent to Mr. Lahiri’s, the great and well-known bookseller’; ‘I went to the firm of Mr. Lahiri, the great and well-kown bookseller’.