Possessive Nouns

A Possessive Noun is used to show possession. It is formed by:

(i) adding an apostrophe 's' ('s) to a singular noun.

Examples:

the boy's cap

the girl's doll

the man's tie

the woman's handbag

the doctor's stethoscope

the elephant's trunk

the patient's medicine

the bird's beak

the cat's tail

the dog's paw

the woman's handbag

the lady's lipstick

the rabbit's long ears

The girl's doll is in the closet.

The patient's medicine is expensive.

My father's car is under repair.

The bird's nest is in the tree.

The dog's owner is Mr. Joe.

The cat's whiskers are long.


(ii) adding an apostrophe (') to a plural noun ending in 's'.

Examples:

the boys' cap

the girls' dolls

the students' bicycles

the cats' tails

the hunters' rifles

the nurses' uniforms

the drivers' cabs

the dogs' paws

the elephants' trunks

the farmers' farms

the birds' beaks

The boys' caps are new.

The managers' cars were stolen.

The cats' tails are long.

The birds' beaks are sharp.

The farmers' farms have been sold.

The giraffes' necks are long.




(iii) adding an apostrophe 's' ('s) to a plural noun that does not end in 's'.

Examples:

the men's shavers

the women's earrings

the children's toys

the postmen's motorcycles

the mice's nests

the geese's wings

the oxen's horns

The men's shavers are on the table.

The women's earrings are expensive.

The children's toys are neatly arranged on the shelves.

The mice's nests were destroyed.

The boys took away the geese's eggs.

The farmer is building the oxen's shed.


For non-living things, we do not use apostrophe 's' or apostrophe to show possession. We use 'of the' instead.

Examples:

the legs of the table

the pedals of the bicycle

the hour-hand of the clock

the nip of the pen

the roof of the house

the handle of the kettle

the wheels of the motorcycle

the antenna of the radio

An owl is perching on the roof of the house.

The hour hand of the clock is shorter than the minute hand.

One of the wheels of the truck had punctured.

The handle of the kettle is broken.

The nip of the pen is missing.

The cover of the book is torn.


Exercises

A. Rewrite the following expressions, making them plural.

e.g. the doctor's house - the doctors' houses

1. the artist's drawing - __________________________

2. the boy's shirt - __________________________

3. the girl's dress - __________________________

4. the mechanic's tool - __________________________

5. the man's tie - __________________________

6. the woman's watch - __________________________

7. the butcher's cleaver - __________________________

8. the child's book - __________________________

9. the artist's drawing - __________________________

10. the fisherman's net - __________________________

11. the rooster's comb - __________________________

12. the king's crown - __________________________

13. the frog's tongue - __________________________

14. the student's eraser - __________________________

15. the lady's headband - __________________________


B. Rewrite the following expressions, making them singular.

e.g. the doctors' houses - the doctor's house

1. the horses' hoofs - __________________________

2. the men's children - __________________________

3. the bats' wings - __________________________

4. the teenagers' skateboards - __________________________

5. the tourists' passports - __________________________

6. the passengers' tickets - __________________________

7. the crabs' pincers - __________________________

8. the children's books - __________________________

9. the shepherds' sheep - __________________________

10. the eagles' claws - __________________________

11. the youths' vans - __________________________

12. the professors' students - __________________________

13. the poets' poems - __________________________

14. the grasshoppers' feelers - __________________________

15. the kids' toys - __________________________


C. Rewrite the following sentences, adding the apostrophe 's' correctly.

1. The mans shoes are made of crocodile hide.

2. Lindas pet cat is named Kitty.

3. My fathers coat is expensive.

4. The storks beak is long.

5. Your dogs ear is bleeding.

6. The policemans boots are shiny.

7. Tommys birthday party will be held tomorrow.

8. Emmas arm is swollen from a bee sting.

9. My grandmothers house is large.

10. The principals voice is loud and clear.


Answers

A.

1. the artists' drawings

2. the boys' shirts

3. the girls' dresses

4. the mechanics' tools

5. the men's ties

6. the women's watches

7. the butchers' cleavers

8. the children's books

9. the artists' drawings

10. the fishermen's nets

11. the roosters' combs

12. the kings' crowns

13. the frogs' tongues

14. the students' erasers

15. the ladies' headbands

B.

1. the horse's hoof

2. the man's child

3. the bat's wing

4. the teenager's skateboard

5. the tourist's passport

6. the passenger's ticket

7. the crab's pincer

8. the child's book

9. the shepherd's sheep

10. the eagle's claw

11. the youth's van

12. the professor's student

13. the poet's poem

14. the grasshopper's feeler

15. the kid's toy


C.

1. The man's shoes are made of crocodile hide.

2. Linda's pet cat is named Kitty.

3. My father's coat is expensive.

4. The stork's beak is long.

5. Your dog's ear is bleeding.

6. The policeman's boots are shiny

7. Tommy's birthday party will be held tomorrow.

8. Emma's arm is swollen from a bee sting.

9. My grandmother's house is large.

10. The principal's voice is loud and clear.