Open Menu
Section of English Grammar

Try mSpy Phone Tracker for Your Kid's Safety

3-J) Possessive 'S UNIT 3 lesson J
Touch a word or the <play> button for sound
Click on a word or on the <play> button for sound
Click on a word or on the red <play> button for sound

Here we're going to learn how to ask about possession (whose is this?) and how to express possession with words referring to people: person + 's + thing (this construction is also called "Saxon Genitive")

See comments in the box of EXPLANATIONS.

After watching the video go to the other video below and have a test.

POSSESSIVE  S --> How to express possession when the owner is a person.

The construction is:  OWNER + 's + POSSESSION

1- We only use this construction when the owner is a person:

- Peter's leg is very big  (Peter= person)
- The leg of the table is very big
  (table = thing)

2- Spelling:

- singular noun + 's --> My father's car (names ending in -S ad
/ɪz/ in the pronunciation: Alice /ælɪs/ - Alice's house /ælɪsɪz haʊs/)
- plural noun + ' --> The boys' ball   (but irregular plurals not ending in -S only add the apostrophe ('):
The children's ball)

- Biblical and classical names ending in -s + ' --> Jesus' teachings, Augustus' armies
(compare: Boris's teachings, King Charles's armies)
Note: this rule is not always followed. "Classical" refers to ancient Greek and Roman times.

3- Pronunciation:

- It is pronounced the same as the plural of nouns. We add an 'S in the spelling and pronounce an S:
doctor's, Jack's, boy's
- If the noun ends in an S sound or a sound very similar to S, then we add an extra syllable and pronounce "-is" /ɪz/
Alice's, James's, Fox's, Gage's, Josh's

4- Use of the article:

We only use the article THE when the owner has an article, but the article of the possession disappears.

- This is John's car (owner = John)
- This is the boss's car (owner = the boss) -- "boss's" is pronounced like "bosses" /bɒsɪz/

It is not correct to say:
- This is John's the car
- This is the John's car (owner = the John)

5- Chainned construction

- This is Kevin's sister
- This is Kevin's sister's book

Saxon Genitive for possession -basics
Saxon Genitive: construction
Saxon Genitive - construction
created by users
Saxon Genitive - basics 2
© Angel Castaño 2008 Salamanca / Poole - free videos to learn real English online || InfoPrivacyTerms of useContactAbout
This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read more