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    #1

    possessives of personal names in -s: pronunciation and punctuation

    Hello all,

    I've got a bit confused with the possessives.

    What is the correct way of forming the possessive case of such nouns as 'Charles', 'James' and others ending in-s? And what happens to their pronunciation then?

    But WHAT is the way of pronouncing such names in the possessive case, and, thus, punctuating them? Should it be James's (dzeimziz) car or James' (dzeimz) car? Dickens's (dikinziz) novels or Dickens' (dikinz) novels? And does the pronunciation really influence the punctuation of such words or do they exist parallelly and is the choice of 's or ' up to me?

    Thanks in advance.

    PS
    I've rummaged about lots of grammar manuals and have come to the conclusion that there's no hard and fast rule about such nouns and the best variant is to go by the way we pronounce their possessive form - whether we add that extra (iz) syllable or not. If it is pronounced, 's is necessary, if the possessive and the common cases sound alike, only an apostrophe is necessary. So now I've got stuck as I don't know WHAT is the correct pronunciation there. Hope for your help only.

  1. moonlike's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: possessives of personal names in -s: pronunciation and punctuation

    Hi dear tyrp
    It's exactly what I found in Oxford Learner's grammar, grammar finder by John Eastwood page 173:
    After a surname ending in s, we can add 's or we can just add an apostrophe.
    Mr Perkins's room/ Mr Perkins' room
    Yeats's poetry/ Yeats' poetry
    When we just add an apostrophe, we do not need to pronounce an extra syllable. We can pronounce Yeats' /jeits/ or /jeitsiz/.
    Good luck


    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Ukraine
      • Current Location:
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    • Join Date: Dec 2011
    • Posts: 120
    #3

    Re: possessives of personal names in -s: pronunciation and punctuation

    Than you for your help!

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