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A great way to explore the town and the neighbouring villages of Shottery and Wilmcote, home to Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Shakespeare's mother Mary Arden's, is with City Sightseeing's 'Hop On Hop Off' buses.

Do the words in bold mean "the cottage of Mary Arden", "the house/place/establishment of Mary Arden" or something else?

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  • It does refer to Mary Arden's cottage. Feb 22, 2017 at 18:18

3 Answers 3

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It's possible and usually desirable to not repeat a noun in an {adjective} {noun} structure if you have more than one noun and the second noun is the same.

I took the red sock and the blue sock.

I took the red sock and the blue.

That example above is grammatically correct but awkward sounding. Usually one would say I took the red sock and the blue one.

But, with possessive adjectives, simply eliding the last noun is more common and less awkward.

Over the hill I saw Mark's camping equipment, and John's camping equipment too.

Over the hill I saw Mark's camping equipment, and John's too.

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  • Or I saw both Mark's and John's equipment.
    – ColleenV
    Feb 22, 2017 at 18:49
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Yes,

Arden's

is possesive, for the pattern noun + "'s" it is usually posessive.

Possesive can be used as a short for meaning place

Let's meet at yours.
Let's meet at your place

Mary Arden's
Mary Arden's place (house)

Your original sentence would be expanded to

home to Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Shakespeare's mother Mary Arden's
home to Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Shakespeare's mother Mary Arden's cottage

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Yes, it does mean "Shakespeare's mother's cottage" but given your confusion you can see how this is a clumsily-worded sentence. There are several other options which would be more clear:

... home to the cottages of both Anne Hathaway and Shakespeare's mother Mary Arden,

... home to Anne Hathaway's cottage and Shakespeare's mother Mary Arden's cottage,

... where you will find the cottages of Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway, and his mother, Mary Arden,

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