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Thread: What does mean?

  1. Newbie
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    What does mean?

    Jack's shirt is grey.

    What does ('s) mean in this sentence ? Is
    pithiness for (Jack his) . Mean

    Jack his shirt is grey.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: What does mean?

    It shows the possessive.
    The shirt that Jack owns (and is wearing) is gey.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    Re: What does mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by yasmein View Post

    Jack his shirt is grey.

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

    Hello, Teacher Yasmein:

    1. Your students are very lucky to have such a well-informed teacher (in my opinion).

    2. According to one of the greatest grammarians ever to live (in my opinion), the possessive (or actually so-called

    "genitive") progressed through hundreds and hundreds of years of development and change.

    3. IF (a big "if") I understand him correctly, here is how the English people have expressed your sentence:

    Jackes shirt is gray.

    Jacks shirt is gray.

    Jack his shirt is gray.

    (About the year 1680) Jack's shirt is gray.

    * 's became "widely used" because "doubtless" (this esteemed scholar tells us), many people felt that it was a

    contraction of his. (It was not -- as I understand it.)

    * Here are some examples given by the scholar:

    Mary her books.
    The boys their books.

    (The scholar says that 's cannot be a contraction for "her" or "their," of course. He says that it spread "by analogy.")


    Today in 2012, most teachers, I think, do not want to confuse their students with the history of the possessive.

    So they tell their students to use 's correctly to indicate possession.

    P.S. The great scholar reminds us that although today we write "This is Mr. Jones's house," we still pronounce it as if

    it were written "Joneses."

    That fantastic scholar was Professor Dr. George Oliver Curme. His 1931 two-volume masterpiece is called A Grammar of the

    English Language.
    (I have a 1983 reprint. I consulted page 71.)



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