Showing possesion in English

There are three ways of showing possession in English:

  1. The apostrophe
    • used with people, e.g. customers' rights (NB the customer's rights refers to one customer; the customers' rights refers to more than one.)
    • Proper names:
             John's and Paul's books
            John and Paul's book
            James's book
            Socrates' book 
    • used with time and distance :
          a day's pay
          today's paper
          in two weeks' time
    • Plural nouns:
         The students' uniforms
         The children's toys
  2. Using 'of'
    • usually used with objects, e.g. the price of petrol
    • used to talk about position, e.g. the back of the room
  3.  Using a noun and an adjective
    • a table leg
    • a night flight
    • shirt buttons
    • the car door (the car's door)

The double genitive

  • He is a friend of my mother's
  • He is a friend of ours
  • John is a work colleague of mine
  • I'm going to Mary's