RHL School

English Basics
Volume 2, Number 12, November 24, 1997

Possessive Nouns

Possessive nouns are used to show possession (owning, or having). They are words that would normally be nouns, but are used as adjectives to modify a noun or pronnoun. Possessive nouns tell you who or what the modified noun or pronoun belongs to.

Example: The dog's collar is too large.

The word "dog's" is the possessive noun. It tells you that the noun "collar" belongs to the dog. The dog owns, or possesses the collar.

Add 's to the end of a singular noun to make it possessive.

Ex: The sky's color is changing...... sky + 's

Add 's to the end of a plural noun that does not end with an s.

Ex: We enjoyed the children's play...... children + 's

Add only the apostrophe (') to the end of a plural noun that ends with an s.

Ex: My sisters' names are Kate and Nikki...... sisters + '

A. Underline the possessive noun in each sentence. Then tell whether it's singular or plural. The first three have been done for you.

1.X John's sure that Kim's voice is on the tape. ......singular
2. XThe girls' club won't allow Laurie to join. ......plural
3. XThe plumbing in the men's room isn't working. ......plural
4. XWe've already heard Patty's explanation.
5. XKatey's concerned about Jamie's attitude.
6. XMaine's coastline wasn't safe during the storm.
7. XThe Pilgrims' transportation wouldn't be too comfortable.
8. XThe deer's footprints were made by many animals.
9. XThe deer's tail is white.
10.l This table's finish is very smooth.

B. Underline the possessive noun in each sentence. Then identify the noun or pronoun that it modified. The first three have been done for you.

1. XHerman's recent letter said that Amy's still angry....... letter
2. XThe babies' names are a mystery....... names
3. XI'm not sure, but I think it is Kathy's....... it
4. XYour brother's room is very neat.
5. XMy cat's favorite toy is in the kitchen.
6. XI didn't believe I'd find the guppies' tank at the mall.
7. XMissy's first guess turned out to be right.
8. XA modern car's engine is controlled by computer chips.
9. XThat is mine, but this is Tim's.
10.l The announcer's meaning wasn't clear.

C. The possessive noun in each sentence is missing an apostrophe. Write the correct spelling after the sentence. The first three have been done for you.

1. XYou can identify Petes picture from its subject....... Pete's
2. XThe singers voices could hardly be heard....... singers'
3. XThe wolfs owners want a much bigger cage....... wolf's
4. XThe wolves location was unknown.
5. XThe malls parking lot is huge.
6. XRyans attention is focused on the cat.
7. XThe womens room is down the hall.
8. XThe womans belongings fell out of her pocketbook.
9. XAnthonys strange habit made him unwelcome at parties.
10.l The partys hosts spent a fortune on food.


Copyright 1997 RHL

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