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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #108964: Possessive or genitive Case.
Possessive or genitive Case.
After revising possessive adjectives and pronouns, we're going to review the use of the genitive case, also called 'possessive case', which is often ill-treated by learners.
1) The GENITIVE CASE: construction.
The Genitive Case or Possessive Case is used when the possessor is a living being, a group or an Institution. You must then add 's to singular nouns or to plural ones which are not ending with an - s . You simply add ' to nouns in the regular plural.
ex: Olie's birthday party. The children's toys , the company's Headquarters, Manchester's football team.The boys' hats.
2) Should we put an article or not?
It must be noticed that ‘the possessed object ' is NEVER preceded by an article.
ex: Mom's necklace; Tom's new car; Mr Pierce's house.
On the contrary, if there is an article in front of the possessor, it MUST be used in front of the English genitive, unless you're dealing with a generalisation :
ex: The scientist's new computer; a poor man's rags; the teacher's books.
BUT : Young people's problems. Rich people's luck.
3) The ‘Possessive Case' or Genitive Case is also used to express a date or a duration:
ex : A ten minutes' crossing; an hour's waiting.
ex : Yesterday's paper; next week's meeting.
4) If there are two (or more) possessors:
ex : His parents' car => His parents have one car only.
BUT Paul's and Susie's kids... => Paul and Susie each have different kids.
5) Whose = questioning or giving information about the possessor ...? :
Whose? can be used before a noun=> Whose car is this ? = (it then behaves like a possessive adjective.)
Whose? can also be used as a pronoun => Whose is that car? = (whose is then followed by verb).
Now that you know a lot about possessive adjectives and the 'possessive case', you should notice the parallelism ot the constructions between the 3 structures : Whose car... , Teddy's car, and his car = possessive indicator + noun (WITHOUT A DEFINITE or INDEFINITE ARTICLE).
Let's talk about Mr and Mrs Richard, and Mr and Mrs Ford in the exercise.
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