The boy has three coats. His coats are in the closet.

According to the above sentences, is this sentence grammatically correct?

The three boy's coats are in the closet.

I know it is wrong, but I do not know why.

  • It feels better to write "The three coats of the boy are in the closet." There is no ambiguity whether it is about three boys, or just one. – Horror Vacui Jun 8 '20 at 18:34
  • 1
    Your sentence would be grammatically correct if the "boy's" were used to indicate what kind of coats they are. For instance, a store could have four boy's coats and three girl's coats on a rack. But that's because it's not used as a possessive. – Mary Jun 8 '20 at 22:12

Three is an adjective of quantity that describes the word "coats" not the boy, therefore; it should read: the boy's three coats are in the closet.The example you've provided is grammatically correct but it means that there are three coats that are the size and style of a boy are in the closet, which is not what you're trying to say.

  • 3
    Alternatively: The boy's three coats are in the closet. – Ronald Sole Jun 8 '20 at 19:27
  • @RonaldSole - that is better than the accepted answer. – Michael Harvey Jun 8 '20 at 20:08
  • was i wrong? @MichaelHarvey – Abdelrhman Noureldeen Jun 8 '20 at 20:11
  • You can say 'the three boy's coats'; you seem to suggest that it is wrong, when it is not. – Michael Harvey Jun 8 '20 at 20:13
  • 2
    "Three boy's coats" would generally be coats in sizes meant to fit boys, i.e. coats made for boys to wear. – Abdelrhman Noureldeen Jun 8 '20 at 21:15

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.