what is the correct form?


It will be a pain to manage renewals without an automatic charge on your's or your customer's credit card.

or this

It will be a pain to manage renewals without an automatic charge on your or your customer's credit card.

2 Answers 2


The second sentence is correct, your is already possessive

your (credit card) or your customer's credit card

is the full sentence.

You could rewrite the sentence as

your customer's credit card or yours
your customer's credit card or (the one that's) yours


Somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, what seems to be an ungrammatical "double possessive" form is in fact more common for OP's exact context. You can't tell from the spoken version, but although no-one actually writes your's with the apostrophized Saxon genitive, we do usually pronounce the s...

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Usage in respect of pronouns in coordinate possessives is a complex issue, as you'll see if you follow that link. As often happens, prescriptive grammarians tend to decisively endorse one particular usage (usually on the basis of "logic"), and dismiss alternatives as "ungrammatical". But descriptive linguists who don't have that luxury must struggle to explain why native speakers so often ignore the grammarians' pronouncements (and believe me, explaining it isn't easy! :).

So if your priority is to learn what will satisfy a pedantic exam marker, you should stick with your on the grounds that "it's already possessive". If you want to sound more like a natural native speaker, go for yours - but at all costs don't write it with an apostrophe, since this will satisfy no-one.

  • Note that "yours" is a real word, accept even by pedantic grammarians like myself, used as a predicate adjective indicating possession, as in, "The book is yours." I'd say it's illogical to use it here as this context calls for an ordinary possessive adjective and not the predicate adjective: Few would say, "There will be a charge on yours credit card". But it's certainly true that many people say "yours and your customer's". I'd say they're wrong, but that's the "is grammar defined by usage or by logic and consistency" debate we have here a lot. :-)
    – Jay
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 20:28
  • @Jay: Well, I kinda took it for granted my answer was never going to get as many upvotes as Peter's (which you presumably endorse). But at the end of the day, even formal, written sources show native speakers on average tending to disregard both "logic" and the natural tendency to fall into line with whatever they were taught in school (and in this particular case it's obvious descriptive linguists don't find it easy to explain exactly why we do this). I take it for granted those recalcitrant writers are the "brave" ones, and that even more people transgress in spoken contexts. Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 21:34

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