Unit 3.2

Possessive Case without Objects

Determiners

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Introduction

The possessive form is used to talk about things that belong to a person, object or animal.

We can form the possessive case with a following objects or in some cases we can use a possessive without objects, if the meaning is clear.

{See Possessive Case, A1 level} {See Ellipsis, B1 level}

Form

Possessive case without objects has two structures:

  • For places: Preposition of place + owner + (‘s)…
  • For possessions: Inanimate Subject + Verb + owner + (‘s)…

Example

  1. People’s properties
    • Where did you write your report? – At Julia‘s (Julia’s house).
    • In which internet café were you yesterday? – At Jim‘s (Jim’s internet café).
  2.  Possessive in the first and second sentence
    • I don’t think it’s Rob‘s keyboard, I think it’s Keith‘s (Keith’s keyboard).
    • I didn’t receive a call from Maria‘s mother,but John‘s (John’s mother).
  3. Possessive in the question and the reply
    • Is that your password? – No, it’s my father‘s (my father’s password).
    • Are these Laura‘s keys? – No, they are mine (my keys).

Use

We use the possessive case without objects to avoid repetitions of possession.

We use it:

  1. When we talk about people’s houses, shops, firms and churches;
  2. When there is a possessive in the first sentence and in the second sentence;
  3. When there is a possessive in the question and in the reply.

Summary

We find the possessive case without objects in the same sentence to avoid repetitions of possession.

It has two structures:

  • For places: We start the clause with a preposition of place followed by the owner with ‘s.
  • For possessions: We start the clause with the inanimate subject followed by a verb followed by the owner with ‘s.

For example:
— “I am going to Jake‘s. = When we talk about people’s houses, shops, firms…, we often drop the noun following the possessive (Jake’s house).
— “I don’t think it’s Rob‘s keyboard, I think it’s Keith‘s.” = We use the first possessive to refer to Rob’s keyboard, while we use the second possessive with an inanimate subject to avoid repetition.
♦ “It’s the keyboard of Keith‘s.” = We use the double genitive (of and the possessive case ‘s) to show the possession.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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