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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Possessive case    

Possessive case



hania_arshes
Poland

Possessive case
 
Hi!

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.
or
The Adams ´ house. ?

Do we pronounce it ´Adamses ´?

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

20 Feb 2011      



britishschwa
Cayman Islands

Hello,

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     



yanogator
United States

Hi
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,
Bruce

20 Feb 2011