The possessive case
Pronouns such as his, her, its, my, mine, your, yours, their, theirs, our, and
ours are all possessive case words.
Here are several rules for the possessive case.
A. Most singular nouns form their possessive by adding an apostrophe
and an s. (the baboon’s food; the girl’s sweater; Marx’s teachings; Burns’s
poetic lines; Dickens’s characters)
B. To form the possessive of a singular noun that ends with an s sound,
take one of two actions.
1. If a name of two or more syllables ends in an eez sound, the possessive
is formed without an additional s. (Ulysses’ friends; Archimedes’
2. Add an apostrophe and an s if the word would not be difficult to
pronounce. (dress’s cost; quartz’s essence)
C. Add only an apostrophe to form the possessive of a plural noun that
ends in s. (the boys’ gymnasium; the Murphys’ home)
D. If a plural noun does not end in s, add an apostrophe and an s. (the
men’s department; the mice’s hiding spots)
E. Use the possessive form for only the last name in compound nouns for
organizations, literary titles, businesses, and relatives. If owned separately,
use the possessive for both names.
Tom’s and Pete’s reputations (separate reputations)
Procter and Gamble’s sales (combined ownership)
mother-in-law’s magazines (one woman’s ownership)
mothers-in-law’s magazines (two or more women’s ownership)
F. For acronyms (words formed from the first letters of a series of words),
add an apostrophe and an s.
the NHL’s (National Hockey League’s) members
AARP’s (American Association of Retired People’s) membership
My Account / Test History
Note: For boys, the period between 14-17 approximately (slightly younger for girls) is called adolescence, i.e. you are an adolescent. In law you are an adult at the age of 18, but many people think of you as an adult when you leave school.
Childhood and adolescence
Sam (on the right) was born in Scotland but when he was two, his father got a new job in London and he grew up in the south of England He went to university at 18 where he ...
... where he met Anthea. He went out with her (= she was his girlfriend; he was her boyfriend) for three years, but towards the end they had lots of rows (= arguments) and they split up (= broke up / separated). In his mid twenties ...
... in his mid twenties he met Maureen. They fell in love and got married within six months.
A year later she got pregnant and they had their first child, a boy. As you can see, she is now expecting their second child (to be pregnant = to be expecting a baby). But sadly Sam met another woman and he left Maureen two months ago to live with the other woman.