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    #1

    Correct Usage of Possessive

    Which is correct?

    Ann and Stanley's Wedding

    or

    Ann's and Stanley's Wedding?

    Thanks for your help,
    M.

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    #2

    Re: Correct Usage of Possessive

    Quote Originally Posted by Marticia View Post
    Which is correct?

    Ann and Stanley's Wedding

    or

    Ann's and Stanley's Wedding?

    Thanks for your help,
    M.
    The first one is accepted as correct, but there are examples that have an ambiguous meaning. (the second one makes more sense to me)


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    #3

    Re: Correct Usage of Possessive

    For common possession, only add 's to the last name:
    Ann and Stanley's wedding

    Where possession is not common, then add 's to each:
    Janet's and Jane's weddings

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Correct Usage of Possessive

    That's very common usage here as well, but I thought of it as oral vernacular, i.e. not really correct. I would have said the second example given is by far the more correct.


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    #5

    Re: Correct Usage of Possessive

    It's referring to the marriage of Ann and Stanley- Ann and Stanley's wedding.

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    #6

    Re: Correct Usage of Possessive

    Let me try to state it another way.

    Peter and Tim are brothers. Their family has a dog. It's Peter and Tim's dog.

    Peter and Tim are brothers. Their family has two dogs. Peter and Tim's dogs.

    Peter and Tim are friends. They each have a dog. Peter's and Tim's dogs.

    It's hard to explain a concept of something like Ann's and Stanley's wedding (singular noun). Perhaps Ann and Stanley are getting married and Ann wants a formal church wedding while Stan wants a barefoot ceremony on the beach. You could say something like "Good luck to the wedding planner who has to figure out how to make Ann's and Stanley's wedding work." The idea is that they each have their own separate idea of what the wedding will be, and yet there is only one wedding. As you can see, it's the least likely combination.

    On the other hand "Ann's and Stanley's weddings (plural noun)" is easy. What a shame that Ann's and Stan's weddings are on the same day. We will have to figure out which one we go to, and I hate to miss either one.

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    #7

    Re: Correct Usage of Possessive

    The clitic 's can be added to phrases with a unitary sense as well as single words, e.g.

    1. The man in black's reply [the reply of the man in black]

    2. The man in black I spoke to yesterday's reply [the reply of the man in black, etc.]

    3. The girl who lives in Ulster and married the man in black I spoke to yesterday's reply [the reply of the girl who, etc.]

    Though it is not always elegant.

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

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    #8

    Thumbs up Re: Correct Usage of Possessive

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Though it is not always elegant.

    MrP

    The better ones are the following, I reckon:
    The reply of [the man in black] / [the man in black I spoke to yesterday] / [the girl who lives in Ulster and married the man in black I spoke to yesterday].

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Correct Usage of Possessive

    I can see the use for the clitic 's in "The girl next door's cat" -- no one could wonder what the meaning is... but whenever there is logical ambiguity, I feel it cannot be considered good written English. That's just me. What we can accept orally, is fine. But in writing.....

    "Bob, Joan and Dave's friend Sarah should arrive at noon."

    is this supposed to mean Sarah is arriving alone, or with Bob and Joan? The very purpose of grammatical conventions, rules, and norms is to articulate meanings clearly, particularly in concrete matters such as which individuals are arriving, and which are not coming.

    So, for me, "Bob, Joan and Dave's friend Jane" is just plain incorrect English.

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    #10

    Re: Correct Usage of Possessive

    Is 'Tom and John's cousin' one person or two?

    if one... 'The cousin of Tom and John' or "Tom's and John's cousin" (although the latter is deemed incorrect in spite of its clear meaning)

    if two... something like 'Tom (along with)(and also) John's cousin'
    Last edited by 2006; 24-May-2009 at 21:13. Reason: revision

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