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61 votes

What does `'s` mean in "What CPU's will it run on?"?

It's one way of showing plurals that is used with acronyms. It's widely-used, but whether it is correct is the subject of debate. It may be best to avoid its use in formal or professional documents. ...
LMS's user avatar
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51 votes
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Which possessive should I use when referring to the car of a friend?

Neither of those is correct! This is John's car, a friend of mine. means this car (that belongs to John) is my friend. This is John, my friend's car. means my friend's car is named John. I think ...
stangdon's user avatar
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45 votes

What does `'s` mean in "What CPU's will it run on?"?

Punctuation is a matter of style. Here, 's is almost certainly used to pluralize the initialism CPU, but whether this is appropriate depends on which style manual you, your editor, or your ...
choster's user avatar
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39 votes
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How to say something like "my company" without sounding like I own the company?

It is acceptable to say something like, "My plane/bus was late" or "My company was sold" without sounding as if you own them. It would be considered unnecessary and cumbersome to say, "The plane/bus I ...
BuffyOverflow's user avatar
36 votes
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Is there a rule that prohibits us from using 2 possessives in a row?

I've answered essentially the same question over at english.stackexchange.com: Why is “our today's meeting” wrong? Usually, a noun phrase in English must have exactly one determiner: you can say "I ...
Tanner Swett's user avatar
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32 votes
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Is ‘I want to meet your enemy’ ambiguous?

'I want to meet your enemy' is not ambiguous, and means only one thing: I want to meet the person who is your enemy. 'Your' denotes possession or association. It is like saying 'I want to meet your ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
29 votes
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(The) Putin's ratings shot up. Is the definite article allowed here?

You should not use the in The war campaign has shot up Putin's ratings. Yes, the noun "ratings" is definite, but it already has a word that indicates whose ratings they are: Putin's ratings. You ...
CowperKettle's user avatar
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29 votes
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Why are there three pronunciations for the plural "-s"?

TLDR The short answer is that there are certain rules regarding what kind of sound sequences are possible in English, if we used a single pronunciation for the -s endings in every situation, we would ...
Void's user avatar
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28 votes
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Which one is the correct word, "people" or "people's"?

People is a collective noun. When we talk about a specific group of people, we consider it as singular and therefore, no need to add s. Peoples is used when we talk about two or more different ...
Sukanya C's user avatar
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27 votes

How to say something like "my company" without sounding like I own the company?

Addressing the more general case, it's important to note that possessive pronouns don't necessarily imply ownership, possession (nor does the Saxon genitive 's, despite what it says in that link). ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
26 votes

Shouldn't there be a ('s) in "University of Texas('s) Basketball Coach"?

There's no need for "'s" in that headline. "University of Texas" is a noun phrase, and here it directly modifies "basketball coach" to form a compound noun. We understand ...
gotube's user avatar
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24 votes
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One should love everyone's wife. Is it right grammatically?

one should love everyone's wife Well ... it is grammatically correct. However it does not mean what you think it should mean. What this says is that you (or someone) should love everyone else's ...
Andrew's user avatar
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23 votes

Is there a rule that prohibits us from using 2 possessives in a row?

There isn't a rule that you can't use two possessives, but they don't indicate possession of the noun at the end, but instead each one modifies the next phrase. Our last week's meeting Is ...
Pete Kirkham's user avatar
  • 1,007
21 votes

Which one is the correct word, "people" or "people's"?

Actually, I think you are looking for the difference between people and peoples. People means indeed a group of humans, as in: The people of Germany speak German. It can also be used as a ...
oerkelens's user avatar
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21 votes

Is ‘I want to meet your enemy’ ambiguous?

Titles or "styles" such as "Your Majesty", "Your Grace", "Your Highness" are named after abstract qualities. "Enemy" is a concrete noun. There is no ...
rjpond's user avatar
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19 votes
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MY old friend VS an old friend OF MINE

In some situations, saying "my [x]" as opposed to "a [x] of mine" could imply that the subject of your sentence is one of a kind. Example: This is a house of mine. Because you have used the ...
Astralbee's user avatar
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19 votes

Shouldn't there be a ('s) in "University of Texas('s) Basketball Coach"?

This is in Headlinese, which often omits words with little semantic content. Your amended form is still Headlinese. A fuller form (such as you might expect to find in the article under the headling) ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
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17 votes

How to say something like "my company" without sounding like I own the company?

Possessives -- words like "my" or "our", or use of apostrophe-s -- do not necessarily indicate ownership. They just indicate a close relationship. No fluent speaker assumes that it means ownership. ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 68k
17 votes

Is there a rule that prohibits us from using 2 possessives in a row?

Our last week's meeting is a little akward, but I for one do not think that it is incorrect. The answer by Tanner Swett says "it's never acceptable for a noun phrase to have more than one ...
David Siegel's user avatar
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17 votes
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Why do we say AWS service and not service of AWS?

In English, this type of construction is called a compound noun: it is used to describe a specific type of something. The final noun is the general thing, and any nouns in front of it (yes, there can ...
JavaLatte's user avatar
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17 votes
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If I want to avoid the possessive apostrophe, could I write "John his new tires are great" instead of "John's tires are great"?

No, you cannot change "The car's new tires" to "the car its new tires", or "John's books" to "John his books", or anything like that. English simply does not ...
stangdon's user avatar
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15 votes
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Possessive and language cases

The rules governing adjective order can seem technical and even esoteric, but there's a simple rule that is not in dispute: the determiner comes first. A determiner is strictly speaking not an ...
bongbang's user avatar
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15 votes

One should love everyone's wife. Is it right grammatically?

You are right grammatically both sentences are correct but they differ in meaning. Suppose there are three persons in the context : a,b,c With the sentence One should love one's wife, you are ...
ab29007's user avatar
  • 326
15 votes
Accepted

Can we use ' 's ' with the names of the cities or towns?

All are correct but they don't all mean the same thing. Numbers 1 and 2 mean that the people who live in London are happy. Number 3 suggests that people (who may live elsewhere) are happy when they ...
Ronald Sole's user avatar
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15 votes
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The key to my room. Vs The key of my room

I have studied four Indo-European languages in addition to my native English. If there are any rules on which prepositions are proper in which situations, they are not easily discerned or explicated ...
Jeff Morrow's user avatar
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15 votes
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a name for a boy, boy's name, boy name

We commonly write "a boy's name". "Boy's" is a singular possessive. It is a name for one boy. You could talk about "boys' names", plural. That is, names for many boys. "A boys' name" is ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 68k
14 votes
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How to pronounce possessive plurals?

Regular plurals in English end in an /s/ or /z/. If we use a possessive, genitive form of these plurals, we do not add a second /s/ or /z/. The possessive form is the same as the plural. It does not ...
Araucaria - Not here any more.'s user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

"A patients guide" or "A patient's guide"?

You need an apostrophe to mark a possessive case here. However, the possessive case doesn't refer to ownership in such examples, instead it refers to the meaning "is intended for": A patient's guide ...
SovereignSun's user avatar
  • 25.1k
13 votes

Usage of "be of"

Words like interest, value, importance are abstract nouns representing "attributes, qualities" that something might have. The construction X is of Y (where Y is a noun as per above) asserts that X ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar

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