Chapter 8. Person and Case (Cont'd...)
8.2.1 Rules of forming possessive / genitive case
When nouns refer to living beings, they take ’s after them. They also take
of before them. Such as: the pen of Hari, Hari’s pen, a lion’s den, a bird’s nest, man’s wage etc.
Plural nouns ending with ‘s’ take only ’ after them. Such as: a girls’ school.
In case of inanimate objects, the possessive case is formed by putting of
before them. Example: The leg of the table.
But when the inanimate objects are personified (i.e. the attributes of a
person are ascribed) they take ’s after them. Example: Nature’s law, the court’s decree,
fortune’s favorite, the ocean’s roar, reason’s voice, duty’s call, Fancy’s flight, death’s door.
When a singular noun ends with ‘s’ or ‘ce’, it takes only ’ (apostrophe) if
it followed by the word beginning with s. Goodness’ sake, justice’ sake,
conscience’ sake, righteousness’ sake, etc.
Some common phrases denoting time, space, weight, price take ’s after
them: a day’s leave, a week’s journey, three days’ absence, a day’s rest,
a night’s march, a yard’s length, a stone’s throw, half an hour’s journey,
fifty rupee’s worth, a Pound’s weight, a ton’s weight.
Compound nouns and noun in apposition take the ’s at the end. Asoke the
Great’s reign/pillar, son-in-law’s house, Rahim, my brother’s house.
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