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  1. #1
    faryan's Avatar
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    Exclamation What does 'the comma' convey?

    Hi
    What does 'the comma' convey here? 'minute' is plural and possessive, isn't it? Shouldn't we use apostrophe S for talking about people?

    The proposal was repealed after thirty minutes' discussion...

  2. #2
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    Default Re: What does 'the comma' convey?

    It's improperly used (as commas often are). There is nothing possessive about this and it appears that you are talking about a proposal, not "people".
    The proposal was repealed after thirty minutes discussion among members of the board of directors..

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What does 'the comma' convey?

    I feel that the apostophe is correct, though sometimes not used, in such cases as a week's wages, in three days' time, thirty minutes' discussion.

    For the last, we could also say a thirty-minute discussion.

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What does 'the comma' convey?

    [QUOTE=faryan;

    The proposal was repealed after thirty minutes' discussion...[/QUOTE]


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Here are some examples from Mr. Raymond Murphy's very helpful Grammar in Use

    (Intermediate students):

    I have three weeks' vacation.
    I need eight hours' sleep.
    My house is very near -- only about five minutes' walk.

    It would appear that your sentence is correct.

  5. #5
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: What does 'the comma' convey?

    Shouldn't we use apostrophe S for talking about people?
    It's a common misconception that the possessive apostrophe can only be used for people.

    As TheParser said, your sentence is correct.

    Rover

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does 'the comma' convey?

    It's also a common misconception that 's must suggest possession.

  7. #7
    faryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does 'the comma' convey?

    Thank you dear all. It clicked.

  8. #8
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: What does 'the comma' convey?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    It's also a common misconception that 's must suggest possession.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) 5jj has reminded us learners of something very important: grammar books for

    us ordinary people call 's the "possessive." But the correct word is the genitive.

    (a) If you are a serious student who wants to do research on the Web, you should

    google "genitive" in addition to "possessive."

    (2) One (old!) book that helped me realize this was Understanding Grammar by Professor Paul Roberts (published in ancient times -- 1954!).

    (3) Here are a few examples from his book:

    (a) Roger's house. (Yes, this is a true possessive genitive.)

    (b) Edgar's answer. (This is a subject genitive. That is, Edgar [the subject] answered.

    (c) a month's absence. (This is a genitive of measure. It answers the question "How long?")

    (4) There are other kinds of genitive, too. But I shall end my post here. Just wanted

    to show you what 5jj meant when he told us learners that 's is not, in fact, always a

    real possessive.

  9. #9
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: What does 'the comma' convey?

    Sorry Parser, but I don't believe in the existence of a genitive form in English.

  10. #10
    faryan's Avatar
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    Smile Re: What does 'the comma' convey?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Sorry Parser, but I don't believe in the existence of a genitive form in English.
    I love you two and the way you deal with the problem, go on cause you're showing me the rope...

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