Common Errors in English: Possessives

Don’t say: “I went to the house of my friend.”

Don’t say: “I went to my friend house.”

Say: “I went to my friend’s house.”

In English, we normally use ‘s and not OF for possessives:

  • my sister’s dog
    the dog of my sister
  • the teacher’s car
    the car of my teacher
  • Paul’s wife’s dress
    the dress of Paul’s wife

When the word already ends in –s, just add ‘ (the pronunciation is the same):

  • Jesus’ words
  • our boss’ office
  • my kids’ toys

How to form possessives in English

I my My name is Sandra.
you your Your new haircut looks great!
he his He broke his leg.
she her She sold her computer.
it its My car is old, so its engine isn’t very powerful.
we our Our apartment is on the fourth floor.
they their Candace and Marty named their baby girl Donna.
Mary Mary’s Mary’s phone number is 555-4321.
Joe Joe’s Joe’s favorite color is green.
the boy the boy’s The boy’s clothes are dirty.
parents parents’ My parents’ names are Patrick and Gloria.
cat cat’s My cat’s name is Ginger.
country country’s My country’s flag is red, white, and blue.

Learn more: How to form possessives when the word already ends in S

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Common Errors in English: Possessives Espresso English

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