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ESL forum > Ask for help > Basic doubt    

Basic doubt


Basic doubt
Now I ve got a basic doubt
Is it right to say Nicholas s parents? or Nicholas parents?
are both correct?

8 Mar 2010      


I think Nicholas parents is correct!

8 Mar 2010     


No Nicholas s parents is correct!  (like St James s Park in London)

8 Mar 2010     

United States

The rule for possessives is simple, but many here in the US get it wrong.
For any singular noun, add   s  at the end to make the possessive:
the dog s food
the mailman s car
the glass s edge
the princess s father
Fred s house
James s house
Nicholas s house
For plural nouns, add  s  if the noun does not end in "s":
The children s room
For plural nouns that end in "s", add just the apostrophe:
The beds blankets
the rooms floors

8 Mar 2010     


Oops...now I have a doubt.

Is it right to use the possessive case between two things?
I have never used it as I had learnt it was impossible unless in well-known phrases, mostly connected with time: in a months time...

the glass s edge
The beds blankets
the rooms floors...

are they correct or should we say  the glass edge (acting glass as a sort of adj for edge)?

the bed blankets
the room floors

the car key
the kitchen door, etc.... Confused

edit: BTW,   does anybody know of a good grammar book? 
Need to update... tks!

8 Mar 2010     


When noun in singular ends in -s then both variants are possible.

8 Mar 2010     


Tere-arg, be careful with such things as things in the possessive, they really can take the possessive s, thus changing its meaning. The glass s edge will mean that the edge really belongs to this glass, while the glass edge will simply mean that such an adge can be found only in a glass, not specifically this one. In the second case, it looks very much like an adjective, whereas in the first case the two words sound like two nouns in the possession.
As for the rule Nicolas or Nicolas s - I have read somewhere that both are possible, but it should be pronounced as Nicolas s even if there is no s at the end. Voila! Funny enough it sounds sometimes when we want to follow the rules. There is no English without exceptions!

8 Mar 2010     

United States

We don t often use the possessive with two things, but it is possible. However, instead of the alternative you gave, we usually use "of the"
The floors of my house are a very pretty wood.
My house s floors...   is also possible, but not as common.
My house floors...      is not correct.

11 Mar 2010