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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Possessive case    

Possessive case


Possessive case

I ´m practicing possessive case with my students right now and a problem came out. How do we use possessive case with families ending in s? For example, "The Adams" - do we write:

The Adams ´s house.
The Adams ´ house. ?

Do we pronounce it ´Adamses ´?

Thanks a lot for your help and have a wonderful day!

20 Feb 2011      

Cayman Islands


I was taught that "Adams´ house" was correct, but style manuals have changed since then, and while there may still be some holdouts in favor of "Adams´ house," I believe most sources would now say "Adams´s house."

The rule, as I´ve heard it, is that the possessive of proper nouns is formed in the same way as common nouns, except for certain names where that would be awkward -e.g., Moses, Jesus, and Xerxes.

the pronunciation of adams´/ adams´s is /adamziz/

20 Feb 2011     

United States

If the family name is Adams, then as a group they are "The Adamses", not "The Adams". The possessive for their (as a group - plural) house is "The Adamses ´ house".
If Mr. Adams has a car, it is "Mr. Adams ´s car".
I hope this helps you,

20 Feb 2011