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English Grammar Step by Step: • Contents
• Introduction
• Notes
• Unit 1:  Negative and interrogative sentences
• Unit 2:  Short answers
• Unit 3:  Question tags
• Unit 4:  Questions and exclamations
• Unit 5:  So, neither, nor, either
• Unit 6:  Be, used to, would, be/get/become used to, dare, have, get, become, grow, go, turn, fall and feel
• Unit 7:  Verb tenses: forms
• Unit 8:  Irregular verbs
• Unit 9:  Verb tenses: uses
• Unit 10:  Personal pronouns, possessives and reflexive pronouns
• Unit 11: The genitive case
• Unit 12: Singular and plural nouns
• Unit 13: Gender
• Unit 14: A, an, some, any, no, not, none, each, every and the; compounds of some, any, no and every
• Unit 15: Neither, not...either, none, not...any, both and all
• Unit 16: A few, few, a lot, lots, a little, little, many, much, no and plenty
• Unit 17: Enough, too, so and such
• Unit 18: Comparative and superlative sentences
• Unit 19: The adjective order
• Unit 20: Relative clauses
• Unit 21: Do and make
• Unit 22: Modal verbs
• Unit 23: Infinitives, gerunds and present participles
• Unit 24: Conditional sentences
• Unit 25: Passive sentences
• Unit 26: Reported speech
• Unit 27: Purpose
• Unit 28: Word order
• Unit 29: Inversion
• Unit 30: Connectors
• Unit 31: Prepositions
• Unit 32: Phrasal verbs


Intermediate English Grammar:
• Contents
• Unit 9:  Irregular verbs


English Grammar for Beginners:
• Contents
• Unit 1:  A, an, some any and the
• Unit 2:  Some, any + body/one, + thing, + where
• Unit 3:  Personal pronouns and possessives
• Unit 4:  Reflexive pronouns, the reciprocal pronoun "each other" and object pronouns
• Unit 5:  List of irregular verbs


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Polseguera
English Grammar Step by Step


     UNIT 11
     THE GENITIVE CASE1


   Put the words in brackets as appropriate.

1  Examples:
   Emilyís relations2 (the possessor + 's + the thing possessed)
   The wolfís ears
   The legs of the chair3 (the thing possessed + of + 
   the possessor)

   In general, we can say that we use the genitive
   case ('s) when the possessor is a person or an
   animal. If not, we use the of-construction4.

a  (Mr Smith, canoe) is superb.
b  (the house, the windows) are of high quality.
c  I love (your son, trainers).
d  You can see (a cat, eyes) in the dark.
e  Someone has just pinched (my friend, ballpoint).


2  Examples:
   The boy bikes
   The childrenís bikes
   The boyís bike

   If we have a plural form ending in -s, we add only the
   apostrophe, as in the first example. In the second instance,
   children is plural, but it does not end in -s. In the third
   case, boy is singular, so we add Ďs, as has been seen in
   the previous section.

a  (your sister, court shoes) are gorgeous!
b  (the schoolgirls, uniforms) are awful.
c  (the schoolchildren, running shoes) are terrible.
d  (the schoolboy, football boots) are inexpensive.
e  I donít like (your friends, behaviour).


3  Examples:
   the Blakesí mansion
   Ms Woodsís5 purse
   Cervante novels
   Pythagora Theorem
   Dickensís prose style

   The examples above are proper names ending in -s. They have
   the following characteristics:
     The Blakes is a plural noun.
     Ms Woods is an ordinary person.
     Cervantes is a well-known foreign man, who died a long
     time ago.
     Pythagoras is considered to be a classical man.
     Dickens is famous and died a long time ago, but he is
     English.

   Consequently, we can conclude by saying that only the
   apostrophe is used with classical names (Roman and Greek) and
   famous foreign names which refer to people who died a long
   time ago.

a  I have to study the (Archimedes principle) for tomorrow.
b  (Mrs Watkins, hubby) is currently overseas.
c  I love (Dickens, novels).
d  (James, girl-friend) is very intelligent.
e  That is (Mr Miles, missus).


4  Revision exercise.
a  (Mary, pimples) depress her.
b  (Celia, eyes) sparkled with joy.
c  (my hat, the brim) is dirty.
d  (the video, the romote control) is broken.
e  (Denis, watch) is water-resitant.
f  These are (Mr Evans, pliers).
g  This photo was taken in (my half-brother, heyday). He became
   very popular in the Ď70s.
h  (this house, the walls) are very old.
i  (this book, the cover) is really exquisite.
j  (the trunk, the lid) dates back to the 17th century.
k  He finds (Euripides, plays) quite boring.
l  (John, half-sister)is as meek as a lamb.
m  (cigarettes, this packet) is American.
n  We need five (these flowers, stems).
o  Donít soak (the dress, the lining).
p  (her pupils, homework) was excellent.
q  (his dog, tail) was badly hurt in the accident.
r  He will sabotage (your warriors, weapons).
s  (Miss Curtis, lipstick) was stolen from her clutch bag
   last night.
t  (the Browns, house) was built in the 18th century.
u  Youíve scorched (Billy, clothes)!
v  I would like to read a little of (Sophocles, poetry).
w  (bread, these slices) are too thin.
x  (my chair, the back) is very uncomfortable.
y  (his house, the walls) are paper thin.
z  (my sister, goddaughter) is so predictable!


5  Examples:
   Eve and Margaretís bikinis
   Mr and Mrs Robertsís yacht
   My sister-in-lawís property

   If the possessor has more than one word, we place the
   genitive at the end.

a  (Fiona and Elmer, ostentatious flat) is beyond their
   possibilities. I donít know how they will cope with
   the payments.
b  (Mr and Mrs Jarvis, carrots) are from their garden.
c  (the boys and the girls, rooms) are downstairs.
d  (my brother and my sister, sense of humour) is fascinating.
e  These are (Mr and Mrs White, hammocks).


6  Examples:
   Sheís at the doctorís (surgery).
   Peterís (pheasant) looks great.
   Iím going to the bakerís (shop).

   As seen in the examples above, the thing possessed can be
   dropped6 if it is implicit in our general knowledge.

a  We need to buy some meat. Letís go to (the butcher).
b  If you want a bunch of flowers, go to (the florist).
c  I need a pair of glasses, so Iím going to (the optician)
   this afternoon.
d  My daughter is coming for dinner this evening, so Iím going
   to (the fishmonger) to buy some fish.
e  My toothache is very painful. I think Iíll have to go to
   (the dentist).


7  Examples:
   Tomorrowís match has been postponed.

   The genitive also occurs with time words or phrases.

a  (yesterday, competition) was put off because of the weather.
b  (last night, performance) was a complete failure.
c  (next week, party) will be indoors, as itís getting cooler.
d  (last year, carnival) was a roaring success.
e  (tonight, date) is especial. I think itís been love at
   first sight.


8  Examples:
   This is New Yorkís tallest building/This is the tallest
   building in New York.
   This townís first cinema was built in 1937/The first
   cinema in this town was built in 1937.

   The genitive is also possible with places, mostly with
   countries, superlative adjectives and ordinal numbers.

a  Is (Britain, bus service) efficient?
b  She broke (the world, record7) last year.
c  I would like to see (Italy, most ancient monument).
d  This is (the city, first theatre).
e  This is (the country, most recent discovery).


9  Revision exercise.
a  (my brother-in-law, toupee) is ridiculous.
b  (the day before yesterday, reception) was off.
c  I was put off by (Nicholas, manners).
d  (the palace, the furniture) dates from the 17th century.
e  She loves (Catalonia, way of life).
f  She wants to open (a carpenter, workshop).
g  (my dog and cat, food) costs very little.
h  Were (Jesus, miracles) true?
i  ĎWhatís (Charles, occupation)?í
   Iím not sure, but I think heís an opera composer.í
j  (my pals, bikes) are better than mine.
k  These are (my housekeeper, keys).
l  (her partner, words) came straight from his heart.
m  We shall have to erase that bad experience from (our
   daughter, memory).
n  (Tess, stepchildren) are a picture of health.
o  They always won their matches thanks to (their manager,
   secret weapons).
p  This rucksack isnít yours. Itís (Eve).
q  If my memory serves me correctly, itís (Elmer, birthday).
r  (my uncle vineyards) are the best spot to be on (one, own).
s  (the settee, the legs) were made by me.
t  (the rocking chair, the wood) comes from Brazil.
u  (the day after tomorrow, dancing contest) will take place
   in the afternoon.
v  (my hometown, second museum) was built on this side of
   the river.
w  (Liz, alibi) isnít convincing.
x  They like (Aristophanes humorous plays).
y  He says that he touched (the mermaid, tail) in his dream.
z  (that guy, pekinese) is stone-blind.


10 Examples:
   The firmís new project is very revolutionary/The new project
   of the firm is very revolutionary.

   As a general rule, both the genitive and the of-construction
   are possible with nouns referring to groups of people.

a  (the government, intervention) didnít make much difference
   to what was expected.
b  (the company, profits) are getting better at present.
c  I donít agree with (the committee, policy).
d  (the team, players) should consider our pieces of advice.
e  (the party, members) are having a meeting now.


11 Examples:
   This is the car of the girl who bought a pair of ballet
   shoes yesterday evening.
   The moustache of the man who has a scar on his face is very
   uncommon nowadays/The moustache of the man with a scar on his
   face is very uncommon nowadays.

   The possessive case is not possible if the possessor is
   followed by that, who, etc.

a  Itís (the day [that]8 we met, a picture).
b  This is (the man [that] she promised to be always true to,
   the briefcase).
c  Look at (the ostrich [which] you are feeding, the eyes).
d  (the boy [that] Mary loves, the face) is very photogenic.
e  (the person [who is] in love with him, the ring) is a snip.


12 Examples:
   They love Jane Austenís novels/They love the novels of Jane
   Austen.
   My neighbourís murder/The murder of my neighbour was silenced
   by the police.

   The sentences above do not indicate possession. In cases of
   this sort, both alternatives are generally possible.

a  (my ex-husband, sudden death) was a trauma to my children.
b  I detest (James Joyce, prose). He was the most pedantic
   person on earth.
c  (Shakespeare, lines) were a landmark in the theatre of
   the time.
d  (the prime minister, election) will be difficult.
e  (the vixen, running up and down) tired her out.


13 Examples:
   Itís only a mileís walk.
   Itís only a stoneís throw (away) from here.
   For heavenís sake!
   For goodnessí sake!
   Itís only ten pound worth.
   It happened at the waterís edge.

   The genitive is common as well in a few expressions, such
   as the ones seen above.

a  (the sun, rays) are necessary for life.
b  For (God, sake), what have you done!
c  She told me that she had betrayed me at (death, door).
d  They bought (twenty dollars, worth of aubergines).
e  When she became famous, she achieved (her life, ambition).


14 Revision exercise.
a  He likes (Marilyn Monroe, sex appeal).
b  For (our children, sake), please donít do it.
c  (the president, speech) did not convince anybody.
d  (my sister, wedding) didnít last long.
e  This book deals with (Portugal, culture).
f  He considers (Socrates, thoughts) very interesting.
g  (Mrs Brooks, shopping list) is too long.
h  Is Mexico (the world, largest city)?
i  Now we are going to talk about (a tadpole, gills).
j  (Peter, rancour) wonít do him any good.
k  (Bess, eggs) are always fresh.
l  If you ask me, (John Lennon, songs) are the best.
m  (these brogues, the sole) is very good.
n  (the crocodile, mouth) is immense.
o  (his ex-wife, wristband) was made in Beijing.
p  (yesterday, showers) were beneficial to the land.
q  I spent the night looking at (the room, the ceiling).
r  I donít know (this word, the meaning).
s  He ruined (his ex, career path).
t  Someone nicked (our neighbours, hose) last night.
u  This is (the people [who live] next door, the pet).
v  I didnít approve of (the multinational, security measures).
w  (the kids, survival) was due to the fact that they found
   a stream.
x  (the company, enterprising attitude) will set a precedent
   in this sector.
y  (this coffin, the material) will never perish.
z  Iíd like to buy some (traveller, cheques).



____________________
1  It is also called the possessive case or the Saxon genitive.
2  Compare the following sentences:
     This is a photograph of Gloriaís.
     This is a photograph of Gloria.
     Heís Nadiaís brother.
     Heís a brother of Nadiaís.
   The first instance implies that the photograph belongs to
   Gloria; the second, that Gloria is in the photograph. In the
   third case, we suggest that Nadia has probably only one
   brother; but in the fourth, that she has more than one.
3  This construction is often called the of-genitive.
4  Sometimes, it is possible to use the possessor as an adjective:
   the chair legs. Compare the following, though:
     A truck of vegetables (= A truck loaded with vegetables.)
     A vegetable truck (= A truck used to carry vegetables.)
   See unit 23, section 15, footnote 34.
5  Note the pronunciation: /wudziz/
6  Sometimes, we not only omit the thing possessed, but leave out
   the apostrophe as well: Barclays (Bank)/Barclayís (Bank) is very
   well-known world-wide.

   We may also say Iím going to the baker, but this is less usual
   and better to be avoided. If we say Iím going to the doctor, we
   mean that we are going to see the doctor; but if we say Iím going
   to the doctorís, we imply that we are going to his/her surgery.
7  In this particular case, the apostrophe and the s are usually
   dropped:
     She holds the world record in the javeling.
   But:
     The world's largest river/The largest river in the world is
     the Amazon.
     The world's longest river/The longest river in the world is
     the Nile.
8  Notice that that can be left out here.
Author: Miquel Molina i Diez

     Pages: 1 and the key

   Contents
   Introduction
   Notes
1  Negative and interrogative sentences (Page 2 and the key)
2  Short answers (Page 2 and the key)
3  Question tags (Page 2 and the key)
4  Questions and exclamations (Page 2 and the key)
5  So, neither, nor, either (the key)
6  Be, used to, would, be/get/become used to, dare, have, get, become, grow, go, turn, fall and feel (Page 2 and the key)
7  Verb tenses: forms (Page 2 and the key)
8  Irregular verbs
9  Verb tenses: uses (Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5 and the key)
10 Personal pronouns, possessives and reflexive pronouns (Page 2 and the key)
11 The genitive case (the key)
12 Singular and plural nouns (Page 2 and the key)
13 Gender (the key)
14 A, an, some, any, no, not, none, each, every and the; compounds of some, any, no and every (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)
15 Neither, not...either, none, not...any, both and all (the key)
16 A few, few, a lot, lots, a little, little, many, much, no and plenty (the key)
17 Enough, too, so and such (the key)
18 Comparative and superlative sentences (Page 2 and the key)
19 Adjective order (the key)
20 Relative clauses (Page 2 and the key)
21 Do and make (the key)
22 Modal verbs (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)
23 Infinitives, gerunds and present participles (Page 2 and the key)
24 Conditional sentences (Page 2 and the key)
25 Passive sentences (the key)
26 Reported speech (Page 2 and the key)
27 Purpose (the key)
28 Word order (the key)
29 Inversion (the key)
30 Connectors (Page 2 and the key)
31 Prepositions (Page 2, Page 3 and the key)
32 Phrasal verbs (the key)


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