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English Grammar Step by Step:  Collapse 
 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:
 Unit 9:  Irregular verbs

English Grammar for Beginners:
 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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English Grammar Step by Step

     UNIT 11

   Put the words in brackets as appropriate.

1  Examples:
   Emilys relations2 (the possessor + 's + the thing possessed)
   The wolfs 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 boys bikes
   The childrens bikes
   The boys 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 s, 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 dont like (your friends, behaviour).

3  Examples:
   the Blakes mansion
   Ms Woodss5 purse
   Cervantes novels
   Pythagoras Theorem
   Dickenss 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

   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 70s.
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  Dont 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  Youve 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 Margarets bikinis
   Mr and Mrs Robertss yacht
   My sister-in-laws 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 dont 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:
   Shes at the doctors (surgery).
   Peters (pheasant) looks great.
   Im going to the bakers (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. Lets go to (the butcher).
b  If you want a bunch of flowers, go to (the florist).
c  I need a pair of glasses, so Im going to (the optician)
   this afternoon.
d  My daughter is coming for dinner this evening, so Im going
   to (the fishmonger) to buy some fish.
e  My toothache is very painful. I think Ill have to go to
   (the dentist).

7  Examples:
   Tomorrows 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 its getting cooler.
d  (last year, carnival) was a roaring success.
e  (tonight, date) is especial. I think its been love at
   first sight.

8  Examples:
   This is New Yorks tallest building/This is the tallest
   building in New York.
   This towns 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  Whats (Charles, occupation)?
   Im not sure, but I think hes an opera composer.
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 isnt yours. Its (Eve).
q  If my memory serves me correctly, its (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) isnt 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 firms 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) didnt make much difference
   to what was expected.
b  (the company, profits) are getting better at present.
c  I dont 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  Its (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 Austens novels/They love the novels of Jane
   My neighbours 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:
   Its only a miles walk.
   Its only a stones throw (away) from here.
   For heavens sake!
   For goodness sake!
   Its only ten pounds worth.
   It happened at the waters 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 dont do it.
c  (the president, speech) did not convince anybody.
d  (my sister, wedding) didnt 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) wont 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 dont 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 didnt 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  Id 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 Glorias.
     This is a photograph of Gloria.
     Hes Nadias brother.
     Hes a brother of Nadias.
   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)/Barclays (Bank) is very
   well-known world-wide.

   We may also say Im going to the baker, but this is less usual
   and better to be avoided. If we say Im going to the doctor, we
   mean that we are going to see the doctor; but if we say Im going
   to the doctors, we imply that we are going to his/her surgery.
7  In this particular case, the apostrophe and the s are usually
     She holds the world record in the javeling.
     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

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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