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    #1

    Question Using genitive possessive on things.

    Hi all,

    how do I use the genitive form for things? Is it possible or is a common mistake?
    For example, I'm writing an academic paper, and I want to define some properties of my subjects; I have phrases like:

    - "...using the rectangle's height and width to calculate its area".
    - "...checking the algorithm's performance".

    As far as I know, I can use the genitive form on people, but I'm not sure about the exceptions. May I use compounds instead of genitive?

    Thanks,

    -Fabio

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Using genitive possessive on things.

    Yes, that is perfectly acceptable. However, it's often better in formal writing to use "checking the performance of the algorithm".

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    #3

    Re: Using genitive possessive on things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes, that is perfectly acceptable. However, it's often better in formal writing to use "checking the performance of the algorithm".
    Is it not too much verbose?

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Using genitive possessive on things.

    Unfortunately, most academic papers are.

    And Ray mentioned the "normal" writing expected in a formal text. Not that one can't ever use the possessive.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: Using genitive possessive on things.

    Also note that while you can't refer to a thing as who, you use whose in the possessive: a rectangle whose width is more than twice its length.
    I am not a teacher.

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