Possessive form ending in s explained in English Lesson 34

Lesson 34


1/Sentence Practice

Can I use the bathroom? – Sure, it’s down the hall on the left.

She is very nice. I like her company.

Is that Jeanne’s coatJeanne’s coat is very smart. You should get one Sara.

Is that today’s paper? Yes it is, it is my paper.It ‘s mine but you can have it.

Where’s your paper? I have not seen yours. I didn’t get a paper today. I forgot when I went shopping.

My brother is popping in later. I could read his paper. If you want to keep yours, I can read his.

Look! There is a card on the floor. I think it is hers.

What is that ball? It is the dog’s ball. Its ball is dirty.

I will put it outside. Where was the dog yesterday? It was with its favourite dog minder. Who is that?

You know. Our friend Janet. She took it for the day.

Yesterday I went to London. I could not leave the dog in the house all alone.

I phoned our best friend. She brought him back to this morning.

Look! It’s four o’clock. It’s getting late. We had better get going.


2/Vocabulary practice

  • possessive “’s”

  • to use apostrophe s (’s)
  • also called
  • to show that
  • it belongs to someone or something
  • to use the bathroom
  • down the hall
  • on the left
  • the company of someone
  • Jeanne’s coat?
  • today’s paper
  • It’s mine
  • your paper
  • I have not seen yours
  • to pop in
  • a card
  • on the floor
  • the dog’s ball
  • its ball
  • it is dirty
  • with its favourite dog minder
  • all alone
  • to bring back – brought back
  • It’s getting late.
  • We had better get going.


Possessive Form “’s”, Possessive of Nouns, or Saxon Genitive is a structure used as a way to refer to possession.

The possessive form of an English noun or noun phrase is made by suffixing “’s” (read apostrophe + s)

  • the cat’s basket
  • my father’s car
  • Janet’s new job
  • the children’s playroom
  • the chemist’s
  • the butcher’s
  • Saint Paul’s Cathedral
  • Frank’s gym

>> Be careful to avoid a common error: this is Frank’s gym (CORRECT) > this is the Frank’s gym (WRONG > you have to remove the article “the”/“a(n)” with people’s names). 

Some spelling rules:

1/ If my noun is plural and already ends in -s then I simply add an apostrophe (‘) at the end:

  • the cats’ basket
  • my parents’ house
  • the giraffes’ enclosure

2/ If my noun is singular and already ends in -s then I can choose to add an apostrophe (‘) at the end or add the apostrophe + s (’s) at the end:

  • Saint James’s park (recommended spelling)
  • Saint James’ park (more modern but not always accepted as correct spelling)

Some pronunciation rules:

The pronunciation of the possessive form follows the same rules as the pronunciation of plurals of nouns and -s endings of the third person singular in the present simple or simple present:

’s is pronounced:

1/ -s is pronounced /z/ after voiced sounds 

b, d, g, l, m, n, ng, r, v, y:

the men’s toilet, the crab’s shell, the word’s meaning, the bag’s handles, the fan’s reaction…

2/ -s is pronounced /s/ after voiceless sounds p, k, t, f, th: 

the cat’s litter, the books’ cover, the cliffs’ view, the graph’s meaning…

3/ -s is pronounced /iz/ after sibilant sounds c, s, x, z, ss, ch, sh, ge: 

the carriage’s doors, the watches’ maker, the box’ owner, the buses’ route, the races’ popularity…

Please note that there are alternatives to the possessive form “’s”.

1/ adjectival genitive:

  • The carriage doors
  • Its opening hours
  • the dog house

(using the 1st noun as an adjective)

2/ prepositional genitive:

  • The doors of the carriage 
  • The keys to my apartment
  • The days of the week

(using a preposition to introduce possession)

3/ double genitive:

  • She is a friend of my mother’s. 
  • It belonged to a cousin of my father’s.
  • They are neighbours of my aunt’s.

(using both a Saxon genitive and a prepositional genitive)


Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

What did you do wrong? 

I don’t know but I am in the doghouse. 

Can you lend me the keys to your apartment? 

You can have these keys, they belong to a cousin of my father.

Who is popping in today?

 My brother is popping in later.

 Is that Peter’s coat?

 No it is Robert’s coat. 

What is that on the floor? 

It’s the dog’s ball.

Is that today’s paper?

 No, it is yesterday’s paper.

 And is that your friend’s dog? 

Yes that is my friend’s dog.

Is that a friend of your mother? 

No, it is my father’s friend. 

Are they your neighbours? 

No, they are the neighbours of my uncle

Do you know the days of the week in English? 

Yes, I know the days of the week in English.

Exercises Lesson 34

Comprehension Practice

Vocabulary Practice

Grammar Practice