English possessive

possessivedouble genitive-possessivesa possessive 'sapostrophe-s" formexcept in possessivesgenitive (possessive)nominal possessivesnoun phrase possessive construction
In English, possessive words or phrases exist for nouns and most pronouns, as well as some noun phrases.wikipedia
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Possession (linguistics)

possessionpossessivepossessor
It was called the genitive until the 18th century and in fact expresses much more than possession.
For example, English uses a possessive clitic, 's; a preposition, of; and adjectives, my, your, his, her, etc.

English grammar

Englishgrammarthere
The possessive form of an English noun, or more generally a noun phrase, is made by suffixing a morpheme which is represented orthographically as 's (the letter s preceded by an apostrophe), and is pronounced in the same way as the regular English plural ending (e)s: namely as when following a sibilant sound (,,, or ), as when following any other voiceless consonant (,,, or ), and as otherwise.
For other pronouns, and all nouns, adjectives, and articles, grammatical function is indicated only by word order, by prepositions, and by the "Saxon genitive or English possessive" (-'s).

Clitic

encliticprocliticenclitics
It is sometimes stated that the possessives represent a grammatical case, called the genitive or possessive case, though some linguists do not accept this view, regarding the 's ending, variously, as a phrasal affix, an edge affix, or a clitic, rather than as a case ending.
Some also regard the possessive marker, as in The Queen of England's crown as an enclitic, rather than a (phrasal) genitival inflection.

Genitive construction

genitive attributegenitives
Possessives are one of the means by which genitive constructions are formed in modern English, the other principal one being the use of the preposition of.
For example, the English so-called "Saxon genitive" (the "s" modifier, as in "John's father" or "the King of Spain's house").

Grammatical case

casecasescase marking
It is sometimes stated that the possessives represent a grammatical case, called the genitive or possessive case, though some linguists do not accept this view, regarding the 's ending, variously, as a phrasal affix, an edge affix, or a clitic, rather than as a case ending.
For other pronouns, and all nouns, adjectives, and articles, grammatical function is indicated only by word order, by prepositions, and by the "Saxon genitive" (-'s).

English personal pronouns

personal pronounsEnglishpronoun
For a full table and further details, see English personal pronouns.
Possessive pronouns (mine, ours, etc.) replace the entity that was referred to previously (as in I prefer mine) or serve as predicate adjectives (as in this book is mine). For details see English possessive.

Personal pronoun

personal pronounspersonalpronoun paradigms
Personal pronouns, however, have irregular possessives, and most of them have different forms for possessive determiners and possessive pronouns, such as my and mine or your and yours. Unlike with other noun phrases which only have a single possessive form, personal pronouns in English have two possessive forms: possessive determiners (used to form noun phrases such as "her success") and possessive pronouns (used in place of nouns as in "I prefer hers", and also in predicative expressions as in "the success was hers"). In most cases these are different from each other.
English has two sets of such forms: the possessive determiners (also called possessive adjectives) my, your, his, her, its, our and their, and the possessive pronouns mine, yours, his, hers, its (rare), ours, theirs (for more details see English possessive).

Possessive determiner

possessive adjectivepossessivespossessive adjectives
Unlike with other noun phrases which only have a single possessive form, personal pronouns in English have two possessive forms: possessive determiners (used to form noun phrases such as "her success") and possessive pronouns (used in place of nouns as in "I prefer hers", and also in predicative expressions as in "the success was hers"). In most cases these are different from each other.
For more details of the formation and use of possessives in English, see English possessive.

English determiners

determinerdeterminers
Possessive determiners can nonetheless be combined with certain quantifiers, as in my six hats (which differs in meaning from six of my hats). See English determiners for more details.
This means that determiners as construed here include words from the determiner class, such as the, this, my, many, etc., as well as nominal possessives (John's, the tall boy's) and other specifying or quantifying phrases such as more than three, almost all, and this size (as in this size shoes).

Preposition and postposition

prepositionpostpositionprepositions
Possessives are one of the means by which genitive constructions are formed in modern English, the other principal one being the use of the preposition of.
Sometimes such equivalences exist within a single language; for example, the genitive case in German is often interchangeable with a phrase using the preposition von (just as in English, the preposition of is often interchangeable with the possessive suffix 's).

Possessive

possessive pronounpossessive casepossessive pronouns
It is sometimes stated that the possessives represent a grammatical case, called the genitive or possessive case, though some linguists do not accept this view, regarding the 's ending, variously, as a phrasal affix, an edge affix, or a clitic, rather than as a case ending. Unlike with other noun phrases which only have a single possessive form, personal pronouns in English have two possessive forms: possessive determiners (used to form noun phrases such as "her success") and possessive pronouns (used in place of nouns as in "I prefer hers", and also in predicative expressions as in "the success was hers"). In most cases these are different from each other. In English, possessive words or phrases exist for nouns and most pronouns, as well as some noun phrases.
In English, this is done using the ending -'s, as in Jane's, heaven's, the boy's, those men's, or sometimes just an apostrophe, as in workers', Jesus', the soldiers'. Note that the ending can be added at the end of a noun phrase even when the phrase does not end with its head noun, as in the king of England's; this property inclines many linguists towards the view that the ending is a clitic rather than a case ending (see below, and further at English possessive).

Genitive case

genitivegen.GEN
The 's clitic originated in Old English as an inflexional suffix marking genitive case.
That is, Modern English indicates a genitive construction with either the possessive clitic suffix "-", or a prepositional genitive construction such as "x of y". However, some irregular English pronouns do have possessive forms which may more commonly be described as genitive (see English possessive).

Apposition

appositiveappositivesapposite phrase
The Oxford English Dictionary says that this usage was "Originally partitive, but subseq[uently became a] ... simple possessive ... or as equivalent to an appositive phrase ...".
"Appositive oblique", a prepositional phrase with of as in: the month of December, the sin of pride, or the city of New York. This has also been invoked as an explanation for the double genitive: a friend of mine.

Indefinite pronoun

indefiniteindefinite pronounsanybody
Other pronouns that form possessives (mainly indefinite pronouns) do so in the same way as nouns, with 's, for example one's, somebody's (and somebody else's). Certain pronouns, such as the common demonstratives this, that, these, and those, do not form their possessives using 's, and of this, of that, etc, are used instead.
These are made as for nouns, by adding 's, or just an apostrophe following a plural -s (see English possessive).

Middle English

EnglishMiddlelate Middle English
In Middle English the es ending was generalised to the genitive of all strong declension nouns.
The Old English genitive -es survives in the -'s of the modern English possessive, but most of the other case endings disappeared in the Early Middle English period, including most of the roughly one dozen forms of the definite article ("the").

Old English

Anglo-SaxonSaxonAnglo Saxon
Nouns, noun phrases, and some pronouns generally form a possessive with the suffix -'s (apostrophe plus s, but in some cases just by adding an apostrophe to an existing s). This form is sometimes called the Saxon genitive, reflecting the suffix's derivation from Old English or Anglo-Saxon.
Remnants of the Old English case system in Modern English are in the forms of a few pronouns (such as I/me/mine, she/her, who/whom/whose) and in the possessive ending -'s, which derives from the masculine and neuter genitive ending -es.

His genitive

constructionhis'' genitiveperiphrastic genitive
In the Early Modern English of 1580 to 1620 it was sometimes spelled as "his" as a folk etymology, e.g. "St. James his park"; see his genitive''.
As printing became more widespread, and printed grammars informally standardized written English, the "-s" genitive (also known as the Saxon genitive) with an apostrophe (as if a "his" had been contracted) had gone to all nominal genders, including nouns that previously had an unmarked genitive (such as "Lady" in "Lady Day").

Friend of Mine

Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby’s is a Friend of Mine, and frequent uses of the title Friend of Mine
Example of double genitive

Verbal noun

action nounmasdarnominal forms of verbs
When possessives are used with a verbal noun or other noun expressing an action, the possessive may represent either the doer of the action (the subject of the corresponding verb) or the undergoer of the action (the object of the verb).
With a gerund, the agent may be expressed using a possessive adjective: my arriving; John's entering the competition. In colloquial English it is common to use a simple noun or pronoun instead, but this is sometimes considered ungrammatical; see fused participle.

Pronoun

pronounspronominalpronominal system
In English, possessive words or phrases exist for nouns and most pronouns, as well as some noun phrases.

Noun phrase

noun phrasesNPnominal phrase
The possessive form of an English noun, or more generally a noun phrase, is made by suffixing a morpheme which is represented orthographically as 's (the letter s preceded by an apostrophe), and is pronounced in the same way as the regular English plural ending (e)s: namely as when following a sibilant sound (,,, or ), as when following any other voiceless consonant (,,, or ), and as otherwise. In English, possessive words or phrases exist for nouns and most pronouns, as well as some noun phrases.

Determiner

determinersdefinite determinerdemonstrative determiners
These can play the roles of determiners (also called possessive adjectives when corresponding to a pronoun) or of nouns.

Apostrophe

apostrophespossessive apostrophe
The possessive form of an English noun, or more generally a noun phrase, is made by suffixing a morpheme which is represented orthographically as 's (the letter s preceded by an apostrophe), and is pronounced in the same way as the regular English plural ending (e)s: namely as when following a sibilant sound (,,, or ), as when following any other voiceless consonant (,,, or ), and as otherwise. Nouns, noun phrases, and some pronouns generally form a possessive with the suffix -'s (apostrophe plus s, but in some cases just by adding an apostrophe to an existing s). This form is sometimes called the Saxon genitive, reflecting the suffix's derivation from Old English or Anglo-Saxon. Most disagreements about the use of possessive forms of nouns and of the apostrophe are due to the erroneous belief that a term should not use an apostrophe if it does not express possession.

Suffix

suffixesendingdesinence
The 's clitic originated in Old English as an inflexional suffix marking genitive case. Nouns, noun phrases, and some pronouns generally form a possessive with the suffix -'s (apostrophe plus s, but in some cases just by adding an apostrophe to an existing s). This form is sometimes called the Saxon genitive, reflecting the suffix's derivation from Old English or Anglo-Saxon.

Anglo-Saxons

Anglo-SaxonSaxonSaxons
Nouns, noun phrases, and some pronouns generally form a possessive with the suffix -'s (apostrophe plus s, but in some cases just by adding an apostrophe to an existing s). This form is sometimes called the Saxon genitive, reflecting the suffix's derivation from Old English or Anglo-Saxon.