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The possessive case

The possessive case of a noun or pronoun indicates ownership or possession.
Pronouns such as his, her, its, my, mine, your, yours, their, theirs, our, and
ours are all possessive case words.

Here are several rules for the possessive case.

A. Most singular nouns form their possessive by adding an apostrophe
and an s. (the baboon’s food; the girl’s sweater; Marx’s teachings; Burns’s
poetic lines; Dickens’s characters)

B. To form the possessive of a singular noun that ends with an s sound,
take one of two actions.

   1. If a name of two or more syllables ends in an eez sound, the possessive
is formed without an additional s. (Ulysses’ friends; Archimedes’
theories)

   2. Add an apostrophe and an s if the word would not be difficult to
pronounce. (dress’s cost; quartz’s essence)
C. Add only an apostrophe to form the possessive of a plural noun that
ends in s. (the boys’ gymnasium; the Murphys’ home)
D. If a plural noun does not end in s, add an apostrophe and an s. (the
men’s department; the mice’s hiding spots)

E. Use the possessive form for only the last name in compound nouns for
organizations, literary titles, businesses, and relatives. If owned separately,
use the possessive for both names.

Tom’s and Pete’s reputations (separate reputations)
Procter and Gamble’s sales (combined ownership)
mother-in-law’s magazines (one woman’s ownership)
mothers-in-law’s magazines (two or more women’s ownership)

F. For acronyms (words formed from the first letters of a series of words),
add an apostrophe and an s.

the NHL’s (National Hockey League’s) members
AARP’s (American Association of Retired People’s) membership

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    Roswell Alien SpacecraftMac Brazel worked as a foreman on the J. B. Foster Ranch near Roswell, New Mexico, when he discovered a strange object on the ranch in July, 1947. The object had crashed on the hillside. The debris included sheet foil material and a round dish shaped object. Personnel from the Roswell Army Air Field, later renamed Walker Air Force Base, had been looking for their test vehicle. They knew it had landed in the vicinity of the Foster Ranch. Army personnel went to the ranch where Brazel showed them the crash site. Brazel had been taking material from the crash site and storing it at the ranch. He had shown pieces around town and given some pieces to friends as souvenirs. He was not very cooperative with the Army personnel, so they took him to the base where he was detained for three days. The Army got most of the parts back from the crashed experimental package and released Brazel. This photograph is claimed to have been taken at the crash site, but it is most likely a fake. No official photographs are known to exist.


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