The usual rule for indicating multiple owners using using apostrophe-s is to omit 's from all except the last owner in the list. So:

Tom, Dick, and Harry's car is the blue one.

But what if I am one of the owners? Polite custom would typically have the speaker place himself last on the list, so would it be:

Tom, Dick, and my car is the blue one.

which follows the rule. Or would this form be preferred?

Tom, Dick's and my car is the blue one.

Aesthetically, I prefer the latter. And it really only bends the rule, rather than breaks it, to become:

"Omit the 's from all except the last owner in the list to which it would otherwise apply."

That would also allow for other, and even multiple pronouns:

Tom, Dick's, your, and my car is the blue one.

But that's just my opinion. Does anyone know if there is an authoritative position?

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    There is no "authoritative position" for such constructions. If Tom, Dick, Harry and myself all jointly own the car, there's no "elegant" way of lumping all the co-owners together into a single lexical unit capable of being modified by the clitic possessive 's. Just rephrase to something like the car belonging to Tom, Dick, Harry, and myself. Even the far less tortuous context of just two owners can get too messy to bother with - witness "My wife and I's seafood collaboration dinner" with no "good" answers. Commented Jan 25, 2022 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


As you explained yourself, you can group owners together in a list and just add the possessive to the last in the list. As the possessive doesn't apply to your own possessive pronoun, it should appear apart from that list. So, it would be correct to say:

Tom, Dick, Harry's and my car is the blue one.

If it sounds a little unusual, that's probably because there are many other ways of saying this that are more likely to be said ahead of this.

"Tom, Dick and Harry", as joint owners of the car, are obviously already a group. If your conversation were only about that group and you wanted to identify the car belonging to them, you would most likely just say "their car". If they are a family, you might use their family name and say "the Jones's car". Including yourself in the group or family would mean you would say "our car".

In a situation where you had to name the group - perhaps because you were speaking about many groups with different cars - there would also be other ways of phrasing it. For example, you could say:

The blue car belongs to Tom, Dick, Harry and me.


The blue car is Tom, Dick, Harry's and mine.

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