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    • Join Date: Dec 2006
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    #1

    Question Multiple apostrophes

    Hi
    I happened to use (something similar to) this sentence recently:
    Our cat was caught on camera in our neighbourís gardenís blackbirdís nest.

    I would appreciate some comment on the use of the apostrophe in this instance - particularly "garden's". My understanding of it is as follows: the nest belongs to one blackbird (- or two in which case it would be blackbirds' nest). The "blackbird's nest" is found in, or belongs to, the garden - hence the apostrophe in garden's. Lastly, there is an apostrophe in neighbour's - because it is a garden belonging to one neighbour.
    It sounds quite convoluted and just wondered if it could be improved?
    I just wondered, how long this can extend? Like...
    Our cat was caught on camera in our daughter's friend's neighbourís gardenís blackbirdís nest.
    Does anyone know of any similar grammatically correct sentences, where several consecutive words possess an apostrophe?
    Thanks
    David


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    #2

    Re: Multiple apostrophes

    You could rewrite it like this:
    Our cat was caught on camera in the blackbird's nest in our neighbour’s garden.

    You could keep going virtually endlessly with the apostrophes, though the poor listener would soon lose the plot.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Multiple apostrophes

    Quote Originally Posted by das1404 View Post
    Hi
    I happened to use (something similar to) this sentence recently:
    Our cat was caught on camera in our neighbourís gardenís blackbirdís nest.

    I would appreciate some comment on the use of the apostrophe in this instance - particularly "garden's". My understanding of it is as follows: the nest belongs to one blackbird (- or two in which case it would be blackbirds' nest). The "blackbird's nest" is found in, or belongs to, the garden - hence the apostrophe in garden's. Lastly, there is an apostrophe in neighbour's - because it is a garden belonging to one neighbour.
    It sounds quite convoluted and just wondered if it could be improved?
    I just wondered, how long this can extend? Like...
    Our cat was caught on camera in our daughter's friend's neighbourís gardenís blackbirdís nest.
    Does anyone know of any similar grammatically correct sentences, where several consecutive words possess an apostrophe?
    Thanks
    David
    I agree with Tdol. However, in the original sentence "blackbird" didn't need an apsostrophe. "Blackbird nest" functions nicely as a compound noun. That would also work in Tdol's restatement.

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    #4

    Re: Multiple apostrophes

    I agree.

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