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    #1

    apostrophe s showing possession

    My question is that: Must we use "apostrophe s" just for humans or maybe animals? or we can use it for objects too?

    Dubious Rule: for humans we can use "apostrophe s" for showing possession but for objects we shoud say "s.th of s.th" or "s.th s.th" without "apostrophe s" so we say:
    eg1. John's book.
    eg2. The door of the house.
    eg3. The house door.

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    #2

    Re: apostrophe s showing possession

    For people and animals apostrophe s is fine.

    For inanimate objects it's not as clear cut.

    The tree branch is normal, but so is the tree's leaves. (The tree leaves sounds odd.)

    The car windows are open is good, but if more than one car is involved, it's the cars' windows are open.

    Go figure.

    Rover

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    #3

    Re: apostrophe s showing possession

    I would say "my car's paint is peeling" not "my car paint."

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: apostrophe s showing possession

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I would say "my car's paint is peeling" not "my car paint."
    So would I. But then I would go out and buy a can of "car paint".

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    #5

    Re: apostrophe s showing possession

    Do you mean that for objects we can't make any gramatical rule?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: apostrophe s showing possession

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    So would I. But then I would go out and buy a can of "car paint".
    I would say "The paint on my car", I can't imagine ever saying "My car's paint" it doesn't sound natural to me.

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    #7

    Re: apostrophe s showing possession

    Quote Originally Posted by atabitaraf View Post
    Do you mean that for objects we can't make any grammatical rule?
    That's right: we can't.

    Rover

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    #8

    Re: apostrophe s showing possession

    What would be the rule about objects? Thanks,

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    #9

    Re: apostrophe s showing possession

    There is no rule.

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    #10

    Re: apostrophe s showing possession

    No, there is a rule. "My car's paint" may sound unnatural to you, but it is perfectly legitimate. Perhaps it is uncommon in your area; every region is subject to preferences in phrasing and word choice.

    The distinction between the tree branch and the tree's leaves is that, in the first phrase, "tree" is an adjective describing the noun "branch." Only the second uses the possessive. The same applies to the following:

    The car windows are open is good, but if more than one car is involved, it's the cars' windows are open.

    The difference is whether you're using the possessive or simply describing an object.

    The only exception to the use of apostrophes for possessives is the word "its," because in that case, the apostrophe indicates the contraction for "it is."

    It's = it is
    Its = belongs to it

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