Possessive Noun - Explore What is, Usage and Examples

A possessive noun is a noun that is used to show possession or ownership of something or someone. This article on possessive nouns will help you understand possessive nouns and their usage. You can have a look at the examples given for a deeper understanding.

What is a Possessive Noun?

A possessive noun is a noun that is used to indicate that something belongs to someone. For instance, to the question, To whom does this bag belong?, you can say that it is Jessica’s bag. The word ‘Jessica’s’ is the possessive noun here. The general rule to show possession of an object is by adding an apostrophe and an ‘s’ to the end of the noun it belongs to.

Usage of Possessive Nouns

There are some basic rules that you should bear in mind when you are using possessive nouns, especially in writing.

Singular Possessive Nouns

You can make a singular noun into a possessive noun by just adding an apostrophe and an ‘s’ in most cases. However, there are a few exceptions. For singular nouns ending in ‘s’, you can just add the apostrophe to make it a possessive noun.

For example:

  • I borrowed Angel’s white shoes for the event.
  • The new Malayalam movie’s rating is pretty high.
  • Can you fetch me Harris’ bag?

Plural Possessive Nouns

For plural nouns, you can just add an apostrophe to show possession or ownership.

For example:

  • The students’ assignments were arranged according to their roll numbers.
  • The boys’ clubs are very competitive.
  • All the clocks’ hands have to be changed.

Indicating Possession for Multiple Nouns

If you have more than one noun sharing ownership of a particular object, make sure you add an apostrophe and an ‘s’ only to the last noun in the group.

For example:

  • Hansel and Gretel’s parents kept looking for them for three days and still did not find them.
  • Edmund Spenser, Ben Jonson, Philip Sydney and William Shakespeare’s age was an era of great art and literature.
  • Babur, Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan’s reigns were the most successful and beneficial times in the history of India.

Hyphenated and Compound Possessive Nouns

When changing a hyphenated or compound noun as a possessive noun, see to that you add the apostrophe and the ‘s’ to the end of the compound word or the latter word in the hyphenated word.

For example:

  • My sister-in-law’s uncle moved to the United States along with his family.
  • Nobody is in support of the Union Bank’s new policies.
  • The United Nations Environment Programme’s protocol for the Environment Day was successfully carried out.

Examples of Possessive Nouns

Here are some examples of possessive nouns to give you a better idea.

  • The chef’s new dish was a hit.
  • The judges’ verdict was not acceptable to all classes of society.
  • Nobody could find the child’s toy.
  • The Earth’s climate has changed since global warming started.
  • The company was not satisfied with this year’s profit margins.
  • Nihas’ old house looked like a royal palace.
  • My brother-in-law’s cousin got married to my cousin.
  • Nick and Tess’ grandparents visit them every summer.
  • Are you going to Marianne’s bachelorette party?
  • Isn’t she Sandhya’s roommate?

Frequently Asked Questions on Possessive Nouns

What is a possessive noun?

A possessive noun is a noun that is used to indicate that something belongs to someone. For instance, to the question, To whom does this bag belong?, you can say that it is Jessica’s bag. The word ‘Jessica’s’ is the possessive noun here. The general rule to show possession of an object is by adding an apostrophe and an ‘s’ to the end of the noun it belongs to.

Give some examples of possessive nouns.

Some examples of possessive nouns are:

  • Nicholas’ brother is a lawyer.
  • Napoleon’s horse has gone missing for a week now.
  • My brother’s friends are coming home this weekend.
  • Brady, Pete and Mark’s room is quite small for all of them.
  • My mother-in-law’s recipe for mango curry has always been my favourite.

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