,,,but when his trunk was close to the tailor, he discharged the muddy water full in the man’s face. So the tailor was taught a good lesson.

In the above example, is man’s not an adjective?

  • 4
    Why do you think it's an adjective, and not a possessive noun?
    – alphabet
    Feb 12, 2023 at 7:38

2 Answers 2


It's a determiner, of the possessive noun phrase form. Some lump determiners with adjectives (which has been the traditional view); some insist that they are their own part of speech.

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    – Community
    Feb 12, 2023 at 8:31

Grammarians frequently disagree on terminology, but in this case "the man's" can be replaced by "his" as a grammatically identical replacement save for being a pronoun in place of a noun. As a pronoun, I was taught to call it a "possessive adjective."

And that is what "man's" is: a possessive nominal adjective (as opposed to being a pronominal adjective).

Whether or not one chooses to call it an adjective, its function is adjectival.

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