Free English Course Online 34
- Vocabulary related to everyday objects
- Possessive “‘s” or Genitive Saxon and other structures
1/ 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.
2/ Grammar Practice
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)
3/ Sentence Practice
We use apostrophe + s (’s), also called possessive form ’s, to show that something belongs to someone or something:
- 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 coat? Jeanne’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.
4/ Practice Quiz
Complete the quizzes below.
- Today’s comprehension interactive video:
- Today’s sentences drag and drop:
- Today’s grammar fill in the right words: