POSSESSED BY "S"!
using "apostrophe + s" and "s + apostrophe" to make
singular and plural possessive nouns
• who has the basketball? the boy or the boys; singular or plural.
• the boys have the basketball; it is their possession;
• boy's, boys' = possessive nouns
Singular Subject (1 basketball) Plural Subject (2+ basketballs)
• the boy's basketball (one boy) / the boy's basketballs
the basketball of the boy the basketballs of the boy
• the boys' basketball (two or more boys) / the boys' basketballs
the basketball of the boys the basketballs of the boys
apostrophe + s => singular possessive pronoun (the boy's basketball)
s + apostrophe => plural possessive pronoun (the boys' basketball)
Formula: possessive noun + subject noun
1 basketball 2+ basketballs
1 boy c
Qui k Ti m e™ and a
Qui ck Ti e ™ and a
dec om pr s s or
ar needed t o s ee t hi pi t r e.
d ec ompr e ss or
ar e n eed ed t o see t hi s pi t r e.
the boy's basketball the boy's basketballs
QuickTime™ an a d
c m ™ nd
Qui kTi e a a
decomp ress or decompr es sor
a n d to se th p
re ee ed e is icture . are neededto see thispicture.
the boys' basketball the boys' basketballs
Note: Word Order
• the Queen of England's poodle the poodle of the Queen of England
• Barack Obama's tennis shoes the tennis shoes of Barack Obama
• the students' gigantic pizza the gigantic pizza of the students
• the professor's beautiful toupee the beautiful toupee of the professor
• James' argyle sweater the argyle sweater of James
Irregular possessive nouns:
singular possessive plural possessive
my child's dogs my children's dogs
the man's work the men's work
the woman's style the women's style
a person's clothes people's clothes
the deer's tracks the deer's tracks
the geese's migration the geese's migration
Compound possessive nouns use only one apostrophe:
• John and Nancy's house John's and Nancy's house
• Mike and Kelsey's children Mike's and Kelsey's children*
• Obama and Biden's campaign Obama's and Biden's campaign
*this means that Mike and Kelsey have different groups of children; 1)
Mike's children and 2) Kelsey's children
Possessives for Time & Holidays
Today's date is December 31.
This year's movies were excellent.
Monday's basketball game was a disaster!
This week's ESL lessons are more interesting than usual.
We are going out on New Year's Eve.
More chocolate is sold on Valentine's Day than any other day.
I'll send a card to my mother on Mother's Day.
The kids make breakfast for their father on Father's Day.
Everyone wears green on Saint Patrick's Day.
I was paid well for thirty days' work.
The last few years' best movies had huge budgets.
We play jokes on people on April Fools' Day.
All Saints' Day is celebrated on November 1.
* Veterans Day honors men and women who have fought in wars.
* Presidents Day honors American presidents past and present.
International Women's Day is celebrated on May 8.
*Veterans Day and Presidents Day don't have apostrophes!
Exercise: Correct the word order by using possessive nouns.
1. Somebody stole the purse of my aunt.
____Somebody stole my aunt's purse._______________________________________
2. I need to borrow the scissors of my friend for my art project.
3. The daughter of Mary and Zack is having a birthday party.
4. My brother and I watched the speech of President Obama on TV.
5. After work tonight I'm going to the party of my best friends.
6. The comments of John in our ESL class are always interesting.
7. The business suits of the men were brand new.
8. The music of Eminem is popular all over the U.S.
9. The weather of Hawaii is like a dream!
10. The excitement of my ESL teacher is contagious!
11. The schedule of this week has been too busy!
12. What are your plans for the Eve of the New Year?
13. The Day of April Fools is an entertaining holiday.
13. Of today's possessive nouns exercise is over!