21. Possessives

Use possessive forms to show that something belongs to somebody:

  1. If it belongs to one person, put ‘s:

She went to work in her cousin’s company.

The teacher’s book is on the desk.

Ms Agard’s evening class is full.

2. If it belongs to more than one person, so that the noun ends with -s, put the apostrophe after the s:

The students’ essays have not been graded yet.

In the case of an irregular plural that does not end with -s, make the possessive the same way that you do for a singular noun:

I forgot to take the children’s lunches to school.

3. Something can belong to a thing as well as to a person:

Oakland’s crime rate is lower than it used to be.

Your car’s left front tire looks soft.

5. Often we use possessive adjectives:

my, his, her, its, your, our, their

My rent is going up.

He lost his job.

She really likes her new boss.

My car has a dent in its fender.

Is this your book?

My grandparents are going to sell their house.

When is our final exam?

6. We use possessive pronouns to stand alone as the complement of a stative noun, usually to be:

This paper is not mine.

Maybe it is his.

Maybe it is hers.

Is it yours?

These papers are not ours.

Maybe they are theirs.