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English Language

A plural possessive noun shows possession or ownership of a plural noun. Example: The cars that belong to the teachers are parked here.

The teachers’ cars are parked here.

When a plural noun ends in s, add only an apostrophe after the s to make the noun show possession.

Not all plural nouns end in s. When a plural noun does not end in s, add ‘s to form the plural possession.


Examples: the shoes of the men – the men’s shoes

The food of the children – the children’s food

The noun following a possessive noun may either be the name of a thing or a quality.

Example: Thing – Koki’s raincoat

Brian’s umbrella

Quality – the judge’s fury

Bob’s courage


Exercise 8

Change the following phrases to show possession in a shorter way.

Example: The claws of the leopard, the leopard’s claws.

  1. the tail of the lion
  2. the dog that Cliff has
  3. the hat of my mother
  4. the book that Evans owns
  5. the pot that the child has
  6. the name of the doll
  7. the mobile phone that Lucy owns
  8. the shoes that Mike has
  9. the teeth that the fox has
  10. the rabbit that my friend owns


Summary of rules of forming Possessive Nouns

  1. For singular a noun, add an apostrophe and s.

Example: Mr. Joseph’s car is a Toyota Corolla.

  1. For plural a noun ending in s, add an apostrophe only.

Example: The victim’s property was stolen

  1. For a plural noun that does not end in s, add an apostrophe and s.


Example: The women’s boots were muddy.

Singular Noun Singular possessive Plural Noun Plural possessive

Noun Noun

boy boy’s boys boys’

child child’s children children’s

mouse mouse’s mice mice’s

deer deer’s deer deer’s

Exercise 9 Write the following phrases to show possession.

Example: teachers – pens = teachers’ pens

  1. Cooks – aprons 6. Women – sports
  2. Men – boots 7. Carpenters – nails
  3. Countries – flags 8. Sailors – uniforms
  4. Guests – coats 9. Musicians – instruments
  5. Athletes – medal 10. Neighbours – pets


Exercise 10

Rewrite the following sentences changing the BOLD words to plural possessive nouns.

Example: The players on the teams practiced after school.

The team’s players practiced after school.

  1. Each day the wealth of the couple increased.
  2. There was a team of men and a team of women.
  3. The uniforms that the teams were new.
  4. Numbers were printed on the shirts of the athletes
  5. Scores made by the team-mates were put on the scoreboard.
  6. The players enjoyed the cheers of their friends.
  7. The whistles of the coaches stopped the game.
  8. The eyes of the children were full of tears of joy.
  9. The soothing voices of their mothers calmed them.
  10. However, the houses belonging to their neighbours were destroyed.


Answers on Nouns

Exercise 1

  1. students, party Answers on Nouns
  2. boys, songs
  3. Excitement, air
  4. Joyce Chepkemoi, prize
  5. Otieno, house, street

Exercise 2

  1. candle – thing 5. guitar – thing
  2. wrestler – person 6. China – place
  3. joy – idea 7. hatred – idea
  4. Menengai Crater – place 8. Masanduku arap Simiti – person

Exercise 3

  1. musicians, drums, trumpets
  2. family, village
  3. Petronilla, trip
  4. festival, Kenyatta University
  5. people, costumes, streets
  6. Boys, Scouts, sniforms, parade
  7. holiday, excitement
  8. Taxi, family, airport
  9. Maryanne, castle, sand
  10. mother, water


Exercise 4

Proper nouns Common nouns

July book

England face

Kendu Bay crocodiles

John Hopkins student

Johannesburg life

America business

East Africa day



Exercise 5

  1. Proper – Lucky Dube

Common – singer

  1. Proper – London, Paris

Common – dancer

  1. Proper – Mediterranean sea

Common – flight

  1. Proper – Second World War

Common – nurse

  1. Common – goal, students, world
  2. Proper – Europe

Common – accident

  1. Proper – Bill Gates, Microsoft
  2. Common – pilot, woman, ocean
  3. Common – kettle, water
  4. Proper – Professor Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize


Exercise 6

  1. tooth – teeth 9. cliffs 17. moose 25. bosses
  2. wives 10. deer 18. children 26. foxes
  3. giraffes 11. cliff 19. echoes 27. bunches
  4. heroes 12. autos 20. babies 28. ferries
  5. radios 13. studios 21. skies 29. flashes
  6. potatoes 14. men 22. beaches 30. ships
  7. beliefs 15. roofs 23. eyes
  8. thieves 16. rodeos 24. volcanoes/volcanos

Exercise 7

  1. knives 6. children
  2. potatoes 7. mice
  3. geese 8. roofs
  4. shelves 9. stories
  5. tomatoes 10. activities

Exercise 8

  1. the lion’s tail
  2. Cliff’s dog
  3. my mother’s hat
  4. Evan’s book
  5. the child’s pet
  6. the doll’s name
  7. Lucy’s mobile phone
  8. Kimani’s shoes
  9. the fox’s teeth
  10. my friend’s rabbit


Exercise 9

  1. cook’s aprons 6. women’s sports
  2. men’s boots 7. carpenter’s nails
  3. countries’ flags 8. sailors’ uniforms
  4. guests’ coats 9. musicians’ instruments
  5. athlete’s medals 10. neighbours’ pets

Exercise 10

  1. The couple’s wealth
  2. a men’s team, a women’s team
  3. The teams’ uniforms
  4. the athletes’ shirts
  5. The team-mates’ scores
  6. their friends’ cheers
  7. The coaches’ whistles
  8. The children’s eyes
  9. Their mothers’ soothing voices
  10. their neighbours’ house


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