What is a Possessive Noun?
When we want to show that something belongs to somebody or something, we use the Possessive Nouns. These nouns can be singular or plural. It is easy to identify a possessive noun as every possessive noun contains an apostrophe.
Possessive Nouns are nouns that indicate ownership or possession.
Possessive Nouns Examples:
When a car belongs to my friend, we say
My friend’s car
When a mobile belongs to Ravan, we say
When the room belongs to the teachers, we say
The teachers’ room
When the property belongs to the Birlas, we say
The Birlas’ property
If a park is for the children, we say
The children’s park
We generally show the possession by adding an apostrophe (‘) to a plural noun and an apostrophe + the letter s (‘s) to a singular noun.
- The girl’s paintings (one girl)
- The Girls’ High School (school for many girls)
In sentence 1 above, the paintings belong to a single girl, so an apostrophe and s are used.
In sentence 2 above, the school belongs to several girls, so only an apostrophe is used.
How to form Possessive Nouns:
Possessive Nouns Rules
It is easy to understand and form Possessive Nouns if we know the use of an apostrophe in possessive nouns. Follow the following rules, you will surely master the topic.
Rule No.1: Forming Possessive of Singular Nouns: When we want to show a singular noun as a possessive, we add an apostrophe and the letter s
- This is my friend’s car.
- These are Ricky’s certificates.
- I went to my father’s office.
- He is new to the gym. He doesn’t know the gym’s rules.
Banana’s recipe, bottle’s colour, cat’s fur, mobile’s screen, frog’s eggs, fridge’s doors, table’s cover, India’s climate, Covid’s rules, God’s blessings etc.,
Rule No.2: Forming Possessive of Proper Nouns with ‘S’ at the end: When a proper noun ends with s, we can either use only apostrophe or apostrophe +s. The use of only an apostrophe is more common. We generally avoid ‘s’ because it produces an awkward sound.
- Thomas’ has attended yesterday’s event.
- James’ house is near to my house.
- Nicholas’s bike has been driven by his friend.
Rule No.3: Forming Possessive of Plural Nouns: When we want to show a plural noun as a possessive, we add only an apostrophe. Because the plural words already have ‘s’ at the end of them.
- These all are my friends’ farmlands.
- Our school students’ certificates have been issued.
- In the Titanic film, we enjoy the violins’ music.
- The new publisher has submitted the teachers’ manuals.
Engineers’ convention, Lions’ club, principals’ welfare, houses’ design, doctors’ treatment, patients’ wellness, exams’ guidance, lorries’ horn etc.,
Rule No.4: Forming Possessive of Irregular Plural Nouns: The words that are plural but do not have an ‘s’ at the end of them are called irregular plural words. Here, we use an apostrophe + ‘s’
- This is the best children’s park in the city.
- Here in this shop, you can get sheep’s medicine.
- We don’t have any women’s shops nearby.
- In a democracy, people’s opinions are considered.
geese’s eggs, feet’s toenails, cattle’s pasture, mice’s traps, nuclei’s form, oxen’s diet, lice’s size, cacti’s thorns, octopi’s legs, die’s roll, hippopotami’s strength, fungi’s location, formulae’s indication, etc.
Rule No.5: Forming Possessive of Compound Nouns: Generally, the possessive form of the Compound Noun is formed by adding -’s’ to the ending word, regardless of whether it is singular or plural. The following list illustrates the Possessive Form in singular and plural of the Compound Nouns.
|Possessive form in Singular||Possessive form in Plural|
|Vice-principal’s duty||Vice-principals’ duty|
|Son-in-law’s marriage||Sons-in-law’s marriage|
|Sergeant Major’s jeep||Sergeants Major’s jeep|
|Attorney-general’s villa||Attorneys-general’s villa|
|Governor-general’s speech||Governors-general’s speech|
|Sister-in-law’s car||Sisters-in-law’s cars|
|Colonel-in-chief’s arrival||Colonels-in-chief’s arrival|
|Maid of honour’s address||Maids of honour’s address|
Rule No.6: Forming Possessive of two Nouns joined together: When two nouns together share the ownership and indicate the possession only once, we add the apostrophe + ‘s’ to the last noun.
- Wren and Martin’s grammar book is an excellent example of this.
- Thomson and Martinet’s classic grammar book is the most popular one.
- Shravani and Sharath’s car is blue in colour.
- I didn’t attend Mr. and Mrs. Nikhila’s wedding.
- Modi and Shaw’s strategy is too complicated to understand.
Ricky and Snehith’s college, grandmother and grandfather’s living room, mom and dad’s argument, my brother and sister’s toys, etc
Rule No.7: Forming Possessive of two Nouns with Separate Ownership: When two nouns in a phrase indicate separate ownership, we add the apostrophe + ‘s’ to each noun.
- Ricky’s and Snehith’s teachers have attended the function.
- Prime Minister Modi’s and Home Minister Amit’s ideas are almost similar.
- Both Shravani’s and Sharath’s houses are opposite to each other.
- My brother’s and sister’s study rooms are different.
Rich man’s and poor man’s thoughts, my friend’s and your friend’s love letters, mom’s and dad’s mobile phones, teacher’s and principal’s speeches, etc.
Possessive Nouns Exercises:
Write the possessives expressions for the following sentences.
- The lady owns the umbrella.
- The man has a purse.
- This is the overcoat of the waiter.
- The correspondent owns a beautiful house.
- This play area is for pre-primary kids.
- This is the house of old people.
- These dogs belong to James.
- These poems are of John Keats.
- These bikes belong to Avi and Kiran.
- This business store is of Shyam and Shanti.
- The lady’s umbrella.
- The man’s purse.
- The waiter’s overcoat.
- The correspondent’s beautiful house.
- Pre-primary kids’ play area.
- Old people’s house.
- James’ dogs.
- John Keats’ poems.
- Avi’s and Kiran’s bikes.
- Shyam and Shanti’s business store.