Pronunciation Particle
  1. Possessive marker, indicating that an object belongs to the noun or noun phrase bearing the marker.
    Jane's house is bigger than Sarah's.
    The cat bit the dog’s tail. (the dog + ’s)
    The cat bit the dog with the shaggy fur’s tail. (the dog with the shaggy fur + ’s)
    women’s contributions to science
  2. In the absence of a specified object, used to indicate “the house/place/establishment of”.
    We’re going to Luigi’s for dinner tonight. — that is, “Luigi’s house” or “Luigi’s restaurant”
    I'm going to the butcher’s for a steak.
    I bought it at Tesco's. (see s-form)
  3. Indicates a purpose or a user.
    You need a driver’s licence.
    These are popular boy’s T-shirts.
    Alex can be a girl’s name.
    That's a girl’s toy. (A toy intended for use by girls.) — Homographic to: That's a girl’s toy. (The toy of a specific girl.)
  4. Used to indicate a quantity of something, especially of time.
    I took three weeks' holiday.
    The rocks lay at about a mile's distance from the shore.
  5. Used to indicate various other kinds of relationship, such as source or origin, object of an action, subject depicted, etc.
    the doctor's help (help provided by the doctor)
    the King's capture (event of the King being captured)
    my father's portrait (portrait depicting my father)
Synonyms Translations
  • French: de (after the thing owned and before the owner)
  • German: -s, des der (genitive, after the thing owned and before the owner, or before the owner and the thing owned), von (after the thing owned and before the owner with dative)
  • Italian: di (after the thing owned and before the owner)
  • Portuguese: de (after the thing owned and before the owner)
  • Russian: -ов
  • Spanish: de (after the thing owned and before the owner)
Translations Suffix
  1. (sometimes proscribed) Used to form the plurals of numerals, letters, some abbreviations and some nouns, usually because the omission of an apostrophe would make the meaning unclear or ambiguous.
    There are four 3’s in my phone number.
    “Banana” has three a’s and one b. (apostrophe "s" used so that the plural of “a” is not confused with the word “as”)
    You can buy CD’s in that shop.
    These are the do’s and don’ts. (apostrophe "s" used as “dos” may be misread)
  2. (obsolete) Used to form plurals of foreign words, to clarify pronunciation, such as “banana’s” or “pasta’s”.
  3. (proscribed) Used to form the plural of nouns that correctly take just an "s" in the plural. See greengrocer’s apostrophe.
    Apple’s 50p a pound

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