CIP Online English Learning - Possessive

What is Possessive?

Teacher Catherine

Function of possessives is expressing ownership.

Such as:

Cindy’s bag.

Mom’s shoes.


By putting apostrophe ‘ and add s you can now turn nouns to possessive form.

This is the basic pattern of possessive: Noun + ‘ + s 

  • Cath’s bag.
  • John’s paper.

Check these with plural nouns and nouns end with s.

Plural noun ends with an “s” Plural noun does not end with an “s” Noun ends with an “s”
Parents’ love is amazing. Women’s diaries. Tess’ home.
Dogs’ bed. Children’s songs. Boss’ call
Students’ grades. Cacti’s flowers. Tuberculosis’ indications

We use possessive ‘s’ on places, names, animals, expressions, and also with abstract things.


Expressions Abstract
A month’s salary is most awaited. Mom’s love
A week’s notice is too short. Someone’s skill
Today’s menu. Country’s culture


Note on possessive S:

  • Let’s mean ‘let us’ this is not a possessive form.
  • Don,’s wallet (the apostrophe is always attached with the word, Don’s).
  • It’s is a contraction of it is or it has, this is also not a possessive form.
  • Cath and Michelle’s room (It means they both own the room).
  • Cath’s and Michelle’s rooms. (It means they separately own their rooms).
  • She is Abbey’s friend. (It means she is a friend of Abbey).
  • She is a friend of Abbey’s. (It means Abbey has many friends not only her).
  • Guitar’s pick means the tool of one guitar pick. Plural form is guitars’ pick means the pick of two or more guitars.
  • The guitar is Ed’s and mine . (This means they both own the guitar and we do not need to add apostrophe with the possessive pronoun).


When you feel confused if you need or not a possessive, try to reverse it and if it ends with ‘of the’ statement.


Teacher’s class. (Class of the teacher, then this is right).

Teacher’s eating. (The eating of the teacher, this is wrong).



We do not use possessive s with possessive pronouns as they already express possession.

Such as: my, yours, hers, his, its, ours


Its’ language. (Incorrect)  Its language. (Correct)

A friend of hers’. (Incorrect) A friend of hers. (Correct)

It is yours’. (Incorrect) It is yours. (Correct)


With indefinite pronouns (one, each, somebody, everybody, either, nobody, etc.) add apostrophe +s. Only one has a plural form which is, others, only add apostrophe.



  • One’s soul.
  • Each other’s scores.
  • Somebody’s fault.
  • Others’ sake.

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