-3

I always thought "jeans' pocket" was correct. Since you say, "the pocket of his jeans."

However, when I searched for "his jeans' pocket" on Google Books, the results returned the version without the apostrophe.

Why is that?

Note: I have the same question with "his shirt's breast pocket" vs "his shirt breast pocket."

2

the 's form should be used to form the possessive of a singular noun. However "jeans" is treated as plural (just as "pants" is) and so the possessive would be jeans'. But when one indicates "the pocket of a pair of jeans" one usually uses "jeans" adjectivally, so it modifies "pocket" giving "the jeans pocket" and not "the jeans' pocket". Indeed the latter form is so unusual that I can't recall having seen it. Similarly, in "the shirt pocket" shirt is being treated as an addictive, not a noun to be put in the possessive form. However, when referring to a particular shirt, a possessive form might be used:

My blue plaid shirt's pocket.

Whether to use a possessive form, or to use a noun as an adjective, is just a question of usage and custom -- either is grammatically correct, but in a given case one may be natural and the other not. It might also vary in different varieties of English for some words.

| improve this answer | |

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.