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. 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. Jun 8 '20 at 19:27
  • @RonaldSole - that is better than the accepted answer. Jun 8 '20 at 20:08
  • was i wrong? @MichaelHarvey 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. 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. Jun 8 '20 at 21:15

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