3

I have run across such a sentence:

Yesterday I was ill, so I went to the doctor's.

What is the function of possessive here, that is doctor's?

  • Usually, it's "I went to a doctor" or "I visited a doctor" – SovereignSun May 31 '17 at 13:35
  • 4
    I would say it's short for "the doctor's office." – Hellion May 31 '17 at 13:36
  • @ SovereignSun "a doctor" is fine if you mean any doctor, but use of the definite article "the" would be more common here, since the reference is probably to a specific doctor. – Vekzhivi May 31 '17 at 15:14
  • @Vekzhivi Yeh, you are right. – SovereignSun May 31 '17 at 15:38
  • see ell.stackexchange.com/a/73638/3463 – Man_From_India May 31 '17 at 15:42
5

This type of possessive is commonly used to refer to a particular shop, or something similar to a shop like a doctor's surgery or a dental clinic. The pattern being used is: [somebody's] [place] (e.g. butcher's shop) and the unnecessary [place] is often left off for brevity. You will often hear the following used:

I'm going to the:

  • doctor's (doctor's surgery)
  • dentist's (dental clinic)
  • butcher's (butcher's shop)
  • baker's (bakery)
  • (green)grocer's (grocer's shop)
  • barber's (barber's shop)
  • hairdresser's (hairdressing salon)
  • 2
    We use it in the US, too... – Catija May 31 '17 at 15:03
  • @Catija Thanks, I wasn't sure whether it was a British thing, I'll remove BrE from my answer. – SteveES May 31 '17 at 15:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.