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Saxon Genitive for possession -basics

Saxon Genitive for possession -basics
Activity SmartMemo
Activity SmartMemo
See how good you are at using the Saxon Genitive

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1- Look at these sentences and express the same thing using the Saxon Genitive ('s) 2- Move your mouse over the black button to check your answer. 3- If you were right, click on the green button, if wrong, click on the red.

We use this form to express possession or relationship when talking about people.

Phoebe has a cat = This is Phoebe's cat

The leg of the chair
The leg of the sheep
Paul's leg


singular noun My father's car
plural noun My parents' house
singular ending in "s" or similar sound Your boss's office / Alice's book (pronounced: /bɒsɪz/ /ĉlɪsɪz/)
plural not ending in "s" The children's room

The "Person" may be a phrase:

That is the man next door's wife  (Person= the man next door)
Paul and Mary's dog
Henry the Eighth's six wives

Paul and Mary's dog = Paul and Mary have a dog, his name is Tobby
Paul's and Mary's dogs = Paul has a dog called Tobby, and Mary has a dog called Dodo

    But if the "Person" is a long phrase or sentence, we prefer the construction with OF

         This is the office of Mary and her new boyfriend
         That's the house of the man who was talking to you at the party

    A Saxon genitive can also be the "Person" of another Saxon genitive

        This is Monica's son's toy    (the toy of Monica's son)
        My brother's wife's name is Karen

Careful with the article! 

We only use the article with the Person if the Person has an article:

That's THE BOSS That's THE BOSS's car
That's PETER  That's PETER's car  (not: That's the Peter's car)


Item Match Comments
Barbara has a brother. He lives in Boston - ... in Boston Barbara's brother lives in Boston
Mary and Bill are married. They have a shop. The shop is very cool. - ... is very cool Mary and Bill's shop is very cool
My neighbour has a shop. The shop is over there. - That is... That is my neighbour's shop
My sister has a friend. She sings in a group. - ... sings in a group My sister's friend sings in a group
Pamela has a friend - She is... She is Pamela's friend
The children have a mother. That woman is my friend. - ... is my friend The children's mother is my friend
The crocodile has eyes. The eyes are yellow. - ... are yellow The eyes of the crocodile are yellow
The girl has a cat. The cat is black. - ... is black The girl's cat is black
The man has blue eyes. They were sad - ... were sad The man's blue eyes were sad
The president has a car. This is his car. - This is... This is the president's car
The stars send light. the light is beautiful. - ... is beautiful The light of the stars is beautiful
The television has a screen. The screen is green. - ... is green The screen of the television is green also: The television screen is green
The tower has windows. The windows are very small. - ... are very small The windows of the tower are very small
The tree has a branch. The branch is broken. - ... is broken The branch of the tree is broken
There is a toilet for men. It is upstairs. - ... is upstairs The men's toilet is upstairs
This is a house. Tom Cruise lives there. - This is... This is Tom Cruise's house
This is a school. The boys study here. - This is... This is the boys' school
Tim and Frank are friends. Tim has a red car. Frank has a red car. - ... are red Tim's and Frank's cars are red
Your father has a name but I can't remember it - I can't remember... I can't remember your father's name
Your sister has a father. Her father has a mother. That woman is your grandmother - ... grandmother Your sister's father's mother is your grandmother
Total number of items: 20

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