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Unit 81. -'s (your sister's name) and of... (the name of the book)




Unit 81; Part A


galka.jpgWe use -'s (apostrophe + s) mostly for people or animals:

    Tom's computer isn't working.  (not the computer of Tom)
    How old are Chris's children?  (not the children of Chris)
    What's (= What is) your sister's name?
    What's Tom's sister's name?
    Be careful. Don't step on the cat's tail.

Note that you can use -'s without a following noun:

    This isn't my book. It's my sister's.  (= my sister's book)

We do not always use -'s for people. For example, we would use of ... in this sentence:

    What was the name of the man who phoned you ('the man who phoned you' is too long to be followed by -'s)

Note that we say a woman's hat
(= a hat for a woman), a boy's name (= a name for a boy), a bird's egg (= an egg laid by a bird) etc.

Unit 81; Part B


galka.jpgWith a singular noun we use -'s:
      my sister's room (= her room - one sister)        Mr Carter's house (= his house)

With a plural noun
(sisters, friends etc.) we put an apostrophe at the end of the word (-s'):
        my sisters' room (= their room - two or more sisters)
       the Carters' house (= their house - Mr and Mrs Carter)

If a plural noun does not end in
-s (for example men/women/children/people) we use -'s:
      the men's changing room       a children's book (= a book for children)

Note that you can use -'s after more than one noun:

        Jack and Karen's wedding        Mr and Mrs Carter's house

Unit 81; Part C


galka.jpgFor things, ideas etc., we normally use of (... of the book / ... of the restaurant etc.):

      the door of the garage  (not the garage's door)
      the name of the book      
      the owner of the restaurant

Sometimes the structure noun + noun is possible
(see Unit 80):
      the garage door       the restaurant owner

We say the beginning/end/middle of ... , the top/bottom of... , the front/back/side of ...

       the beginning of the month  (not the month's beginning)
        the top of the hill    
        the back of the car

Unit 81; Part D


galka.jpgYou can usually use -'s or of ... for an organisation (= a group of people). So you can say:

      the government's decision    or    the decision of the government
      the company's success   
or    the success of the company

It is also possible to use -'s for places.
So you can say:
      the city's streets       the world's population        Italy's prime minister

Unit 81; Part E


galka.jpgYou can also use -'s with time expressions (yesterday / next week etc.):

  •     Do you still have yesterday's newspaper?
  •     Next week's meeting has been cancelled.

In the same way, you can say today's / tomorrow's / this evening's / Monday's etc.

We also use
-'s (or -s' with plural words) with periods of time:
  •     I've got a week's holiday starting on Monday.
  •     Julia has got three weeks' holiday.
  •     I live near the station - it's only about ten minutes' walk.



Exercises

flag.jpgIn some of these sentences, it would be more natural to use -'s or -'. Change the underlined parts where necessary.
Key.3    your friend's umbrella
4    OK
5    Charles's daughter
6    Mary and Dan's son
7    OK
8    yesterday's newspaper
9    OK
10  OK
11  Your children's friends
12  Our neighbours'garden
13  OK
14  Bill's hair
15  Catherine's party
16  OK
17  Mike's parents'car
18  OK
19  OK (the government's economic policy is also correct)

1    Who is the owner of this restaurant?
2    Where are the children of Chris?
3    Is this the umbrella of your friend?       
4    Write your name at the top of the page.       
5    I've never met the daughter of Charles.       
6    Have you met the son of Mary and Dan?       
7    We don't know the cause of the problem.       
8    Do we still have the newspaper of yesterday?       
9    What's the name of this street?       
10  What is the cost of a new computer?       
11  The friends of your children are here.       
12  The garden of our neighbours is very nice.       
13  I work on the ground floor of the building.       
14  The hair of Bill is very long.       
15  I couldn't go to the party of Catherine.       
16  What's the name of the woman who lives next door?       
17  Have you seen the car of the parents of Mike?       
18  What's the meaning of this expression?       
19  Do you agree with the economic policy of the government
OK                         
Chis's children       

_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
_________________
flag.jpgWhat is another way of saying these things? Use -'s.
Key.2    a boy's name
3    children's clothes
4    a girls' school
5    a bird's nest
6    a women's magazine

1    a hat for a woman     
2    a name for a boy       
3    clothes for children       
6    a school for girls       
5    a nest for a bird       
6    a magazine for women
    a woman's hat      
__________________
__________________
__________________
__________________
__________________
flag.jpgRead each sentence and write a new sentence beginning with the underlined words.
Key.2    Last week's storm caused a lot of damage.
3    The town's only cinema has closed down.
4    Britain's weather is very changeable.
5    The region's main industry is tourism.


1    The meeting tomorrow has been cancelled.
      Tommorrow's meeting has been cancelled.  
2    The storm last week caused a lot of damage.
      Last ____________________________________
3    The only cinema in the town has closed down.
      The ____________________________________
4    The weather in Britain is very changeable.
      ________________________________________
5    Tourism is the main industry in the region.
      ________________________________________
flag.jpgUse the information given to complete the sentences.
Key.2    twenty minutes' walk
3    two weeks' holiday / fourteen days' holiday / a fortnight's holiday
4    an/one hour's sleep


1    If I leave my house at 9 o'clock and drive to the airport, I arrive at about 11.
      So it's about    two hours' drive    from my house to the airport.  (drive)
2    If I leave my house at 8.40 and walk to the centre, I get there at 9 o'clock.
      So it's ______________ from my house to the centre.  (walk)
3    I'm going on holiday on the 12th. I have to be back at work on the 26th.
      So I've got ______________. (holiday)
4    I went to sleep at 3 o'clock this morning and woke up an hour later. After that I couldn't sleep. 
      So last night I only had ______________. (sleep)


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