Today’s blog is going to deal with how we express possession in English. We are going to focus on one structure; Possessive ‘s or Saxon Genitive.
To start with, let’s see some examples:
- I like Mary’s jacket.
- John’s new car is very fast.
- My father’s dog is very big.
As you can see we use “’s” after a noun or a name to show that an object belongs to someone. So, the jacket belongs to Mary, the car belongs to John and the dog belongs to my father.
When we have a noun with a final -s (because it is plural, or not), we may only add the apostrophe (‘).
- My friends’ house is very near.
- Charles’ sister is coming to the party.
If you try to translate these sentences into Spanish or Catalan, you will see that we use a completely different structure:
- English: possessor + ‘s + object
- Spanish or Catalan: object + de + possessor
If we used these sentences following the structure in our language, we would be making a mistake:
- I like the jacket of Mary. (No!!!!!!)
- The new car of John is very fast. (No!!!!!!)
- The dog of my father is very big. (No!!!!!!)
However, in English, we sometimes use the structure of + object. Check these
- The end of the street is very crowded.
- The employees of the new supermarket are doing training week.
- The leg of the table is broken.
In these cases, we can use of + object, because we are talking about a part of a thing, so the relation is not that of possession.
Did you notice that the name my blog contains an example of the possessive ‘s?