June 26, 2008


When we desire to show the possession of any Pronoun we use possessive pronouns like her, hers, their, theirs, our, ours, his, mine etc. But when, we desire to show any Noun’s possession or belongingness we use the APOSTROPHE. There are some fixed rules regarding the uses of apostrophe. Let’s discuss them one by one.

· These books belong to Tom.

· These are Tom’s Books.

· The radio was invented by Marconi.

· The radio was a Marconi’s invention.

N.B: After a singular Noun we use …’s and after a plural Noun ending with an S we use only an apostrophe …s.

· These are the boy’s books. (Singular)

· These are the boys’ books. (Plural)

· Five minutes’ walk.

· Two weeks’ leave.

N.B: If the plural noun does not end in …s and follow different rules of plural, then we use an S and later add an apostrophe in between the word and the S. In case of Plural Nouns ending with an S we shun using two SS as it is too difficult to pronounce and only add …’ (Apostrophe) to make a good sound to pronounce.

· Men’s wear.

· Women’s wear.

· Children’s park.

N.B: If there are two Nouns we generally place the apostrophe after the second Noun.

· Clusner and Winnie’s wedding ceremony.

(Though here, the wedding of Clusner and Winnie is more appropriate and sounds good as well)

· Mr. and Mrs. Dahl’s house.

N.B: When the first Noun is a thing, we generally use the …of construction instead of the …’s.

· The chair’s legs. (Incorrect)

· The legs of the chair. (Correct)

· Rose’s flowers. (Incorrect)

· The flowers of rose. (Correct)

N.B: We are free to use either the ‘of’ construction or an ‘Apostrophe S’, in case the Noun happens to be a group of people including countries.

· The Cabinet’s orders or The orders of the Cabinet.

· India’s history or The history of India.

· China’s work forces or The work forces of China.

N.B: …’S is also used when we refer to a Time Noun.

· A day’s leave.

· Tomorrow’s twenty-twenty match.

· A month’s salary.

· A week’s leave.

N.B: …’S is used with fixed expression.

· For Heaven’s sake.

· A stone’s throw distance.

N.B: The second Noun is often omitted in such expressions.

· The grocer’s (Shop)

· The vendor’s (stall)

· The gynecologist’s (Clinic)

· Mr. Tripathy’s (House)

N.B: Both Of and ….’s can go together in expressions like the following.

· He is a friend of my father’s. (One of my father’s friends.)

A mine type word can be placed.

  • A friend of mine is coming next week.
  • It was good idea of yours.

N.B: Own IS OFTEN USED with the above construction (Of+My-type word+Noun with …’s)

  • He has a flat of his own.
  • They have no houses of their own.

Remember the OWN can only be used in this type of construction only after a possessive words or what we call My-type word.

Type 1

Type 2

Possessive Pronouns











These words are called Possessive Pronouns or Possessive Adjectives according to their uses, as they are used in place of Nouns or show possession of the Nouns and come before the nouns like Adjectives.

The type 2 is used when @ A verb comes after the noun. @ If of is used before them. @ if a noun is concealed.

  • This book is mine. (Verb in between)
  • This is my book.
  • Shyam is a friend of hers. (Of is used after the noun)
  • Shyam is her friend.
  • My horse and yours are both tired. (One noun Horse is concealed)
  • My horse and your horse are both tired.

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