RHL School

English Basics
Volume 3, Number 9, November 2, 1998

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 pronoun. 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 + '

Optional: If the noun is singular and ends with an s, add 's or add only the apostrophe (').

Ex: The bus's engine stopped. The bus' engine stopped. Note: Most sources recommend the shorter version if the ending "iz" sound is not wanted.

Underline the noun in each sentence that should be possessive. Then write it correctly after the sentence. The first five have been done for you.

1. The Pilgrims little ship was uncomfortable. Pilgrims’
2. A sincere person compliment is a valuable gift. person’s
3. Mrs. Graves class has a great Web site. Graves’
4. The class teacher was quite young. class’s or class’
5. The pony rider was too heavy. pony’s
6. Your brother attitude got him into trouble.
7. Amy report card was wonderful.
8. The little babies nursery had twelve beds.
9. I didn’t know I was eating your cat chopped tuna.
10. The Indians religion caused them to respect the visitors.
11. A turkey intelligence is not overwhelming.
12. The girls outfits were exactly the same.
13. We were proud of Chris performance.
14. All the kings horses couldn’t put anyone together again.
15. My horse name is Swampygoosehoof.


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