a cardboard house to signify possessive nouns

Possessive Nouns


A noun names a person, place, thing, idea, quality or action, but a possessive noun shows ownership.

In old English, the possessive form was created by adding -es to the end of the noun, regardless of whether it was singular or plural or how it ended. For example, the possessive form of “dog” was “doges” and “Charles” became “Charleses”.

Now we add an apostrophe, an “s” or both. Therefore, the possessive form of “dog” singular is now “dog’s” and the plural is “dogs’”.

Remember how an apostrophe is used to show letters have been left out? In this way, the apostrophes in possessive nouns are actually performing their original function.

Exercise One

Rewrite the following statements so that you are using the possessive form of the noun.

  1. The Frisbee belongs to the boys.
  2. The car belongs to the man.
  3. The dinner belongs to the family.
  4. The books belong to the students.
  5. The candy belongs to Jessica.
  6. The mess belongs to the dogs.
  7. The painting belongs to the woman.
  8. The homework belongs to Mike.
  9. The mouse hole belongs to the mice.
  10. The blanket belongs to the child.

Exercise Two

Rewrite the following paragraphs using the appropriate possessive noun.

Rebeccas house is a world of its own. Downstairs lives her Uncle Allen, who takes advantage of his sisters hospitality by living rent-free.  Rebeccas fear prevents her from ever entering Allens apartment.  Allens old, yellow teeth and his stringy hair frighten her.  Upstairs, in the front room, Rebeccas parents sit for hours and talk, oblivious to the old man in the basement.  Pepper, the familys old cat, sprawls on a hooked  In the back room, Rebecca and her friends listen to music. Rebeccas dance mat takes up the entire room, leaving little space for the sofa.

On the kitchen table, Rebeccas mother sits and peels potatoes.  The plunk, plunk, plunk of the potato peels landing in the round pot blends with the raindrops drumming on the windows and Rebeccas dance steps tapping back and forth in the next room.  Rebecca hasn’t heard Allens sawing and banging in the basement.#

Exercise Three

Rewrite the following paragraphs using the appropriate possessive pronoun.

Jane is a doctor. She likes _______ job and family. She has got two children who are pupils in a primary school. _______ school is far from _______ house. That’s why they go there by bus or _______ parents drive them.

Jane’s husband, Tom, is a teacher. He goes to _______ job by car. _______ car is a convertible while _______  is a Ford.

_______ children like school, especially the _______ playground. They eat _______ breakfast when they arrive.

Suggested Answers

  1. The boys’ Frisbee
  2. The man’s car.
  3. The family’s dinner.
  4. The students’ books.
  5. Jessica’s candy.
  6. The dogs’ mess.
  7. The woman’s painting.
  8. Mike’s homework.
  9. The mice’s mouse hole.
  10. The child’s blanket.

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