Not a question, but a correction


This is a great site, which I recommend to my students. 


However, on the apostrophe for possessives with nouns, you omitted one rule:


When you have a compound subject, you add 's to only the last subject if the object belongs to all subjects.

Ex.: Mary and Paul's mother. = Mary and Paul have the same mother.


When you have a compound subject with multiple objects that belong to each subject, you must add 's to each subject.

Ex.: Mary's and Paul's mothers. = Mary's mother is not Paul's mother.


That is all. Thank you.

edited Oct 24 '12 at 15:47 bellbottom New member

1 answer


I'm assuming you are referring to the "rules" in the  Grammarly Handbook. You should point this out to Grammarly Support (see the link at the bottom of the page). The Answers forum (here) is for discussing words, grammar, and style. The people here do not work for Grammarly -- we do it for fun -- and the Grammarly staff seldom reads the posts here.


To add to your comment about joint and separate possession:


The Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition, 2010, University of Chicago Press) at 7.22, gives the rule as you've stated it. However, my editor (who is following CMOS) so dislikes the separate possessive -- Mary's and Paul's mothers -- that she wants me to rewrite to avoid the construction entirely. In this, she agrees with my long-ago, old-school high school English teacher. Miss Slaton felt the reader could be confused by the construction.


Please contact Grammarly Support with your helpful suggestion.

link answered Oct 24 '12 at 16:37 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

I only saw the support email afterwards and sent them an email. :)

Thanks for your input!

bellbottomOct 25 '12 at 15:09

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