Common Grammatical Errors: Possessive Fault

Jenna and Morris walked they’re four dogs every day.

Jenna and Morris walked their four dogs every day.

The dog’s leashes usually became tangled.

The dogs’ leashes usually became tangled.

When you look at a sentence, there are six areas in which you may find a grammar mistake.

1. Singular nouns

  • To show possession, always add an ’s to the noun.

Jennas favourite dog was chubby.

Jenna’s favourite dog was chubby.

Morris’ favourite was more muscled.

Morris’s favourite was more muscled.

 2. Plural nouns

  • If the word neither ends with an S, nor with an S or Z sound, then add ’s.
  • If the word ends with an S, or with an S or Z sound, then add an apostrophe.

 The dogs would often run on other peoples’ lawns.

The dogs would often run on other people’s lawns.

When that happened, Jenna would take away the four dog’s privileges.

When that happened, Jenna would take away the four dogs’ privileges.

 3. Compound Nouns

  • “Mother-in-law” is an example of a compound noun. When changing the noun into its possessive form, place the apostrophe after “law.”

 Outlaw

Innocent

Jenna’s brother’s-in-law dog was mean.

Jenna’s brother-in-law’s dog was mean.

4. Joint ownership  

  • When two or more people own something, you only put the possessive on the last noun.

Jenna and Morris’s dogs were friendly.

  • When Jenna owns her dogs separately from Morris, use the possessive on both nouns.

Jenna’s and Morris’s dogs were friendly.

5. Possessive pronouns

  • The proper forms of the possessive are as follows:

I

my

mine

you

your

yours

she

her

hers

he

his

his

us

our

ours

they

their

theirs

it

its

its

eg:

Clyde is you’re dog. He is your’s.

Clyde is your dog. He is yours.

Snowball is they’re dog. He is their’s.

Snowball is their dog. He is theirs.

The dog preferred it’s black leash.

The dog preferred its black leash.

 

Notes:

  • None of these possessive pronouns uses an apostrophe.Notes:
  • Do not confuse the possessive pronouns with the following contractions:
    • it’s = it is                          
    • you’re = you are
    • they’re = they are

her’s = not a word