As a nonnative English speaker, sometimes I struggle with usage of 's or of or nouns together, for example

Ali's car.

the pole of the flag ,

the walls of the train.

the beauty of women's

I don't know if it's OK if I change them, especially when, for example, I'm writing and I think if I change them in the sentence it would be more effective, and I write like this:

flag's pole or flag pole

train walls

the beauty of a woman or the beauty of theirs.


No - it's not OK to change them, as they means quite different things.

"'s" (with an apostrophe) usually indicate possession, whereas "s" (without an apostrophe) indicates plurals. E.g.

"flag's pole" means the pole belonging to flag (but it would would usually be "The flag's pole".

"flag pole" means the pole for a flag. In this situation, "flag" is being used as an adjective.

"train walls" means more than one (plural) train wall (The wall of a train?), as opposed to "train's walls"' which indicate multiple walls belonging to (i.e. comprising part of) a train.

"women" is the plural of "woman". To refer to the beauty of women in general, you could use "The beauty of women" or "women's beauty".

There are a few exception (this is English, remember :-) ). Something belong to "it" is "its", no "it's":

The tree was huge, its bark a mottled brown and green colour.

The apostrophe also indicates missing letters, hence "it's" is short for 'it is'.

"That's a big tree - it's a tall as a skyscraper."

("That is a big tree - it is as tall as a skyscraper")

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It's one of the more confusing aspects of English. Generally, the answer is in the form of the following equation:

x y z = z's x

where x is the object, y is the possessive word or phrase, and z is who or what x belongs to. For an example in English to English:

pants of Paul = Paul's pants
car of Ali = Ali's car

From Spanish to English:

pantalones de Paul = Paul's pants
el auto de Ali = Ali's car

All four mean the same thing, but the right side is what's considered grammatically correct. To further complicate things, you can use possessive phrases to make the left side not only sound grammatically correct, but also give more precise meaning. For example,

Car belonging to Ali = Ali's car

means the same thing, but

Car which belonged to Alie =/= Ali's car

In some instances, you could use the form "x of y" to convey a different connotation/feeling. In your example, "the beauty of a woman" has a different connotation than "woman's beauty"; the first has a more poetic tone to it and the latter, a more casual tone. It depends on the context.

Check this link out for more examples.

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