The ending 's

One way in which English nouns indicate possession is by means of the ending 's.

the boy's hat
Sally's bicycle

In the above examples, the ending 's indicates that the hat is possessed by the boy, and that the bicycle is possessed by Sally. The English ending 's is related to the German possessive ending es.

The ending 's is most often used with nouns referring to human beings or animals.

the child's toy
the bird's song

Nouns formed from two or more words joined by hyphens indicate possession by adding 's to the last word.

the runner-up's score
the sister-in-law's children

The ending 's may also be used with nouns referring to non-living things which are sometimes thought of as if they were living, such as ships, countries, corporations, and the earth.

the ship's bell
Italy's exports
the city's parks
the earth's surface

The ending 's may also be used with nouns referring to units of time.

a day's work
a week's delay

In addition, the ending 's is used with nouns referring to non-living things in a few idioms such as the following:

a stone's throw away
your money's worth

It should be noted that the ending 's is used only with singular and plural nouns which do not end in s.

the girl's hat
the children's books
the men's jackets

The ending s'

For plural nouns which end in s, the ending 's is not used. Instead, an apostrophe: ' is placed after the s which indicates the plural. The following examples illustrate how the plural nouns students and Smiths indicate possession.

the students' books
the Smiths' house

In these examples, the apostrophes indicate that the books belong to the students, and that the house belongs to the Smiths.

It should be noted that both 's and s' are pronounced like s. Thus, in spoken English, there is no distinction between a singular noun with the ending 's and a plural noun ending in s'. For instance, the phrase the student's books is pronounced in the same way as the phrase the students' books. In American English, singular nouns ending in s can also indicate possession by means of a final apostrophe.

James' scarf
Dickens' novels

In these examples, a final apostrophe is used with the singular proper nouns James and Dickens to indicate possession.

Phrases beginning with OF

When the possessor is not a human being or animal, possession is often indicated by the use of a phrase beginning with of following the name of the thing possessed. A phrase beginning with of is most commonly used when the thing possessed is an abstract quality, such as size. This means of indicating possession is related to the method used in French, and may be the result of the influence of French on the English language.

the size of the portrait
the color of the carpet
the beginning of the story

Two consecutive nouns

When the possessor and the thing possessed are both concrete objects, possession can often be indicated by placing the noun naming the possessor before the noun naming the thing possessed.

the car radio
the tree trunk
the kitchen sink
the onion skin

These examples indicate that the radio belongs to the car, the trunk belongs to the tree, the sink belongs to the kitchen, and the skin belongs to the onion.



cvičení úspěšnost
Possession 1 Spustit cvičení