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  1. #1
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    Default possessive case with apostrophe

    Hello Forum,

    I just got all jummed up with the possessive case 's and the English articles in examples that go like this:

    the butcher's boy
    the Attorney-General's husband
    the cat's whiskers
    the Masons' dog

    From the expressions a dollar's worth or some people's eyesas they mean it is worth a dollar (one dollar) and the eyes of some people, I figured that the article in the first fourth expressions should refer to the second noun. But what happens if we rearrange these expressions? It is most evident in the first and fourth example:

    ? boy of the butcher
    the husband of the Attorney-General (there can be only one)
    the whiskers of the cat (formed circle)
    ? dog of the Masons (the must go with Masons, because we are talking of a family)

    Does the article -- whichever it is -- refer to the first noun ended with an apostrophe, or the second? If the article applies to the second one what are the missing articles? Is there any rule for this?

    Regards, Ewelina

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: possessive case with apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by ewelina View Post
    Hello Forum,

    I just got all jummed up with the possessive case 's and the English articles in examples that go like this:

    the butcher's boy
    the Attorney-General's husband
    the cat's whiskers
    the Masons' dog

    From the expressions a dollar's worth or some people's eyesas they mean it is worth a dollar (one dollar) and the eyes of some people, I figured that the article in the first fourth expressions should refer to the second noun. But what happens if we rearrange these expressions? It is most evident in the first and fourth example:

    ? boy of the butcher
    the husband of the Attorney-General (there can be only one)
    the whiskers of the cat (formed circle)
    ? dog of the Masons (the must go with Masons, because we are talking of a family)

    Does the article -- whichever it is -- refer to the first noun ended with an apostrophe, or the second? If the article applies to the second one what are the missing articles? Is there any rule for this?

    Regards, Ewelina
    "The butcher's boy"/The Masons' dog" > In both of these the subject [boy/dog] are qualified by (respectively) "butcher's" and "Masons'", so the article belongs to boy/dog.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: possessive case with apostrophe

    Sorry, I don't understand.

    You do confirm that there is a difference between the understanding and assigning of the articles in constructions a dollar's worth and the butcher's boy even if they look alike?

    So if boy is defined by butcher and the article the referres to boy, the rearranged expresion should look like this the boy of a butcher, because butcher is not specified????

    please help

  4. #4
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: possessive case with apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by ewelina View Post
    Sorry, I don't understand.

    You do confirm that there is a difference between the understanding and assigning of the articles in constructions a dollar's worth and the butcher's boy even if they look alike?

    So if boy is defined by butcher and the article the referres to boy, the rearranged expresion should look like this the boy of a butcher, because butcher is not specified????

    please help

    Why would you think that? You do not have to specify the butcher. The boy is generically the boy employed by a butcher.

    "A dollar's worth" = generically something that is worth a dollar.

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