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I've already heard the 's usage in sentences that seemed like

  • "I went to the doctor's"
  • "I'm going to my mom's"

Is this a possessive usage of 's? Is it correct and/or common?

I searched for the grammar related to this, but I couldn't find it. I found a few entries on Google searching for the full sentences and that this construction is used to talk about places like a doctor's office or a dentist's office. But what about other people?

Could I use it to say something like "I'm going to John's" or must I add "place"/"house" after the 's?

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Yes, it is common, with surgery or house elided but well understood.

Without the apostrophe, the sentences would refer to plural doctors and moms.

You can certainly say that I just got back from John's, as long as your audience knows what you are referring to. It might be John's house, shop, barber, garage etc.

Idiomatically, it's fine in a casual context.

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