2

"Dave's car" means the "car of Dave".

But why do we need the apostrophe S in: I'm going to the dry cleaner's ?

Is there another way to say this phrase? For example: I'm going to the establishment of the dry cleaner? (that sounds completely off to me).

5

When the shop is named after the owner it is fairly common to use a possessive to describe it:

A butcher is a person. A butcher's (shop) is a place to buy meat.

A dry cleaner is a person who cleans clothes. A dry cleaner's is the shop where he works.

Now there is quite a lot of variation here. Some people will write and say

I'm going to the dry cleaner.
I'm going to the dry cleaner's.
I'm going to the dry cleaners.

All three can be considerd to be correct.

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