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You can say the same thing in English too, but English has added another option, the apostrophe. - À qui est ce stylo ? Answer. Possessive pronounsPossessive pronouns are the words which replace a possessive adjective + noun. In these examples, you notice that the apostrophe is used to show that a singular noun owns something (aunt’s, pen; bar’s fine wines). To give you an idea of how to run the “of test,” here are some phrases that express time: one week’s tooth cleaning = one week of tooth cleaning, a year’s dental care = one year of dental care. It's exactly the same as in Old English. (Actually, he needs false teeth and a nose job, but the year’s gum work is a start.). *In spoken French, you might hear c'est + noun + à + name (e.g., c'est un livre à Michel), but it is grammatically incorrect. The context of the sentence (all ten jack-o-lanterns) makes clear the fact that more than one pumpkin is rotting away. In order to show possession, use de ("of"). - This money is Paul's. Showing possession - who owns something - is very different in French and English. You can't use "'s" in French! Ever! You can say the same thing in English too, but English has added another option, the apostrophe. It is equivalent to 's or s' in English. You also see a phrase where the apostrophe indicates that plural nouns own something (lovers’ letters). the book of Paul, - you need to add the definite article le, la, l', les before the first element, as in French you cannot have a noun without an article. Start your Braimap today », Kwiziq French is a product of and © Kwiziq Ltd 2020, Using "mon" rather than "ma" with feminine nouns starting with a vowel or mute h (possessive adjectives), Expressing possession with son, sa, ses and personne, tout le monde, chacun, il faut (possessive adjectives), Using mon, ma, mes, etc with parts of the body (possessive adjectives), Use notre/nos when on means we, but son/sa/ses when it means people (possessive adjectives), Notre, nos, votre, vos, leur, leurs = our, your, their (possessive adjectives). To show possession in French, for example, you say. Most other languages are smarter than English. They go to court and fight it out, that’s what happens! With the of method, you note, the sharp tooth of the crocodile = the crocodile’s sharp tooth, the peanut-stained tooth of the elephant = the elephant’s peanut-stained tooth. Either way, the message is the same - the book belongs to Julia. Possessive à: The preposition à is used with the verb être in front of stressed pronouns in order to emphasize the ownership of the object. Possessive de: The preposition de is used with a name or a noun in place of 's or s' in English. If the plural noun shows ownership, do add an apostrophe after the s (for regular plurals). e.g. When you’re talking about time, give your sentence the “of test.” If it passes, insert an apostrophe. - This is Luc's hat.- Non, c'est à moi ! The “of test” works for plurals too. There are four grammatical constructions used to express possession in French: adjectives, pronouns, and two different prepositions. c'est + noun + à + stressed pronoun*. Ratrug carries around a nutrition chart and a scale and weighs every scrap of food he eats. In sentence B, pumpkins’ expresses a plural possessive. The Halloween decorations are decaying, especially the pumpkins teeth. Cedric carved all ten jack-o-lanterns, and he can’t bear to throw them away. and so on. Ce livre... c'est le vôtre ou le sien ? In sentence A, pumpkins has no apostrophe, though it clearly shows possession. How to Show Possession with Proper Nouns, How to Show Possession for Nouns That End in S, How to Show Possession for Nouns That End in. ), Ludwig and Ludmilla’s wedding (The wedding was for both the blushing groom and the bride. Hillary and Bill Clinton’s daughter (Chelsea claims both of them as her parents. - No, it's mine! ), the women’s lipstick-stained teeth (The lipstick-stained teeth belong to the women. As with the partitive article and other de constructions, de contracts with le and les to make du and des: c'est la voiture du patron - it's the boss's car. Sometimes, no clear owner seems present in the phrase. ), Lochness and the superspy’s secret (Lochness told it to the superspy, so now they’re sharing the secret, which concerns doughnuts and explosives.). (Eggworthy doesn’t know and doesn’t care to know his cholesterol count. You’d be finished figuring out apostrophes now if everything belonged to only one owner. (He has his; she has her own; both sets are polished and quite long.). C'est un livre à lui. Expressing possession with son, sa, ses and personne, tout le monde, chacun, il faut (possessive adjectives) Using mon, ma, mes, etc with parts of the body (possessive adjectives) Use notre/nos when on means we, but son/sa/ses when it means people (possessive adjectives) The French preposition de is used to express possession with names and nouns. If you can insert of into the sentence, you may need an apostrophe. Take a look at this summary of the different French possibilities, and then follow the links for detailed information. le livre de Jean - John's bookla chambre des filles - the girls' room. This means the literal translation of "Julia's book" is something more like "the book of Julia." By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, French Indirect Objects and Indirect Object Pronouns, Conjugating the Major Verbs of French: Avoir, Être, and Faire, Introduction to French Stressed Pronouns - Pronoms Disjoints, How and When to Use French Possessive Pronouns, Prepositions: Small and Mighty Words That Drive French Sentences, Introduction to the French Adverbs Dessus and Dessous, Personal Pronouns: French Grammar and Pronunciation Glossary, Using the French Prepositions 'En' and 'Dans'. - Cet argent... c'est à elle ou à nous ? Here’s the bottom line: To show possession by one owner, add an apostrophe and the letter s to the owner: the dragon’s burnt tooth (the burnt tooth belongs to the dragon), Lulu’s pierced tooth (the pierced tooth belongs to Lulu), Another way to think about this rule is to see whether the word of expresses what you’re trying to say. Such a situation arises mostly when you’re talking about time. It is plural, but teeth doesn’t end with the letter s. Teeth is an irregular plural. Bill Gates is close, but even he hasn’t taken over everything yet. De cannot be used to express possession with stressed pronouns; for those, you need à. Remember to add the apostrophe after the letter s. three days’ construction work on Legghorn’s false teeth = three days of construction work, sixteen years’ neglect on the part of Lulu’s dentist = sixteen years of neglect, two centuries’ pain of rotten teeth = two centuries of pain. If the plural noun is not showing ownership, don’t use an apostrophe. e.g. B. - the object comes first and the owner last (the reverse of English). Remember that an apostrophe shows ownership. - This book... is it yours or his? Take a look at these same phrases — with the same meaning — using apostrophes: All of these phrases include nouns that express ownership. If two people own something together, as a couple, use only one apostrophe. The Halloween decorations are decaying, especially the pumpkins’ teeth. - It's a book of his. Check out these examples: teeth’s cavities (The cavities belong to the teeth. In many of the examples you’ve just read, you’ll find the word “teeth.” Look at the word teeth. But forget lawsuits. - Ce chapeau est à Luc. The French preposition à is used to express possession in the following constructions: These constructions put emphasis on the ownership of the object. Answer: Sentence B is correct. Possessive adjectivesPossessive adjectives are the words used in place of articles to indicate to whom or to what something belongs. WRONG: The gnu’s gnashed their teeth when they heard the news. In sentence C, the apostrophe is placed before the s, showing a single pumpkin. C. The Halloween decorations are decaying, especially the pumpkin’s teeth. What happens when two single people own something? If you can rephrase the expression using the word of, you may need an apostrophe. Take a look at these same phrases — with the same meaning — using apostrophes: All of these phrases include nouns that express ownership. A. We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your B. Lulu told Lola that Lochness needs a year’s work on his gum disease. - It's mine. c'est + à + stressed pronoun, noun, or name. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Apostrophes are those little curved marks you see hanging from certain letters. To show ownership for an irregular plural, add an apostrophe and then the letter s (teeth’s). Voici votre livre - Here's your bookC'est son livre - It's his book. Think of the apostrophe as a little hand, holding on to an s to indicate ownership or possession. Geese have serrations on their bills that look like teeth.). Showing possession with de in French. (She wears size 2, and he wears size 12. The correct way to use possession in this construction is with de (c'est un livre de Michel). Until apostrophes disappear from English altogether, you can take one step toward apostrophe reform by perfecting the art of showing possession.

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