English Grammar Tutorials

  • Preface & Content
  • Letter, Word, Sentence
  • Parts of speech
  • Pronoun
  • Adjective
  • Adverb
  • Articles
  • Number and Gender
  • Person and Case
  • Mood and Modal verbs
  • Tense
  • Clause
  • Voice
  • Narration
  • Punctuation
  • Preposition
  • Conjunction
  • Participles and Gerunds
  • Transformation of sentences
  • Phrasal verb
  • Exercise
  • Correction
  • Simple Conjugate
  • Chapter 8. Person and Case (Cont'd...)


    8.2.1 Rules of forming possessive / genitive case

  • When nouns refer to living beings, they take ’s after them. They also take of before them. Such as: the pen of Hari, Hari’s pen, a lion’s den, a bird’s nest, man’s wage etc.
  • Plural nouns ending with ‘s’ take only ’ after them. Such as: a girls’ school.
  • In case of inanimate objects, the possessive case is formed by putting of before them. Example: The leg of the table.
  • But when the inanimate objects are personified (i.e. the attributes of a person are ascribed) they take ’s after them. Example: Nature’s law, the court’s decree, fortune’s favorite, the ocean’s roar, reason’s voice, duty’s call, Fancy’s flight, death’s door.
  • When a singular noun ends with ‘s’ or ‘ce’, it takes only ’ (apostrophe) if it followed by the word beginning with s. Goodness’ sake, justice’ sake, conscience’ sake, righteousness’ sake, etc.
  • Some common phrases denoting time, space, weight, price take ’s after them: a day’s leave, a week’s journey, three days’ absence, a day’s rest, a night’s march, a yard’s length, a stone’s throw, half an hour’s journey, fifty rupee’s worth, a Pound’s weight, a ton’s weight.
  • Compound nouns and noun in apposition take the ’s at the end. Asoke the Great’s reign/pillar, son-in-law’s house, Rahim, my brother’s house.

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