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Thread: Apostrophe

  1. #1
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    Default Apostrophe


    1a. John's book
    (John is animate; he can own/possess things)

    1b. book of John's (Not OK)
    What do these mean?

    1. I am a friend of lisa's. (Is this one incorrect? Is so, why? I heard people say this on the TV before.)
    2. I am lisa's friend

    If #1 is okay, why can't I say this then:
    1b. book of John's (Not OK)

  2. #2
    Nahualli Guest

    Default Re: Apostrophe

    Form a purely technical perspective, #2 is right, it's just awkward as all hell.

    You would say the book IS John's. If you said it's a book of John it means the book is *about* John. You use #2 about as often as you would use the phrase "a book of mine". (I went into the library to return a book of mine as well as a book of John's) It's conceivable, but safer to just stay away from that whole sentence in general.

    So technically both are correct, but don't use the second sentence in public :)

    -Nah-

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Apostrophe

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Apostrophe

    Are these correct?
    1. My car tire is popped. (Describing what kind of tire it is.)
    2. My car’s tire is popped. (The tire belongs to the car. Grammatically this is okay though right? Or is it not okay? Because we don't use an apostrophe for inanimate objects?)
    Does it matter which one you use? What's the point of using an aspotrophe vs. not using an aspostrophe here? Could you give me an example, like a story to show where I would use one and not to use one? Thanks.
    Last edited by jack; 05-Dec-2004 at 08:07.

  5. #5
    AintFoolin Guest

    Default Re: Apostrophe

    i would say that "friend of Lisa's" is a special case and that is practically the only place you would use such a grammatical construct. In all other cases, try to stick to "John's book"

    both of the tire sentences are fine, the apostrophe is needed in the second sentence to show possession, otherwise 'cars' would simply be a plural which wouldn't make sense. Depending on the context, "Car's" can be a contraction of "Car is", such as "My car's going to need an oil change soon".

    Pronouns and apostrophes have their own rules, so you would say "I don't know its name" NOT "I don't know it's name".

    Alternatively you could just say "I've got a flat" (but not in the UK where they're liable to think you have an apartment)
    Last edited by AintFoolin; 05-Dec-2004 at 08:28.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by AintFoolin
    Alternatively you could just say "I've got a flat" (but not in the UK where they're liable to think you have an apartment)
    ~

    Welcome

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Apostrophe

    Are these correct? What do they mean?
    1. Man's effect on nature.
    2. Men's effect on nature.

    3. Man's effect on the Environment. (I googled 'man's effect' and it has 4500 results.)
    4. Men's effect on the Environment. (I googled 'men's effect' and it has 208 results. Why isn't there more results for #4? Why isn't 'man' plural?)

    5. Making a men's shirt.
    6. Making a man's shirt.

    7. This is a classic white men's shirt.
    8. This is a classic white man's shirt.
    Last edited by jack; 13-Dec-2004 at 20:25.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Apostrophe

    The word "Men" is problematic in that context. "Man" is a collective noun: it refers to all human beings, both male and female--these days, humankind is used. "Men" is not a collective noun. It's a plural noun, and it refers only to male human beings, so if you want to express the effect that men/males have on nature, then "Men's effect on nature" would be fine. As a non-collective noun, men's refers to more than one male, whereas singular man's refers to a male.

    a men's shirt--a shirt belonging to/for males
    a man's shirt--a shirt belonging to/for a male

    Note, e.g. the men's room

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    Default Re: Apostrophe

    Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Apostrophe

    http://dictionary.cambridge.org/defi...8165&dict=CALD

    Are these correct? What do they mean?
    1. The shop was offering six months' credit on electrical goods.
    2. The shop was offering six months credit on electrical goods. (If this is wrong, why?)

    3. The shop was offering a six-month credit on electrical goods. (If this is correct, why? Cambridge says 'credit' is uncountable? How come I can use the determiner here?)
    4. The shop was offering a six-months credit on electrical goods. (Is 'months' supposed to be 'month'? Because it is an adjective?)
    Last edited by jack; 15-Dec-2004 at 08:13.

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