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. ...
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  • 5,542
52 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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  • 34.3k
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 ...
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  • 17.5k
39 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 4,931
32 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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31 votes

How to ask briefly about the ownership of a frying pan?

"Whose frying pan is this?" is how most people would say it. Edit--"Who does this frying pan belong to?" might be about as common. "Whom" is almost never used in spoken English. (For example, you ...
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  • 852
30 votes
Accepted

"my" vs "mine" (adjectives vs. possessive )

The correct phrasing is my question is. As you rightly note, my is a possessive adjective and mine is a possessive pronoun. So, this means you use my where you already have a noun (such as question) ...
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29 votes
Accepted

(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 ...
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  • 36.1k
29 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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  • 17.6k
27 votes

One of my friend's OR friends' wife? (My friend has only one wife)

The unambiguous way to say this in English is, "the wife of one of my friends". If you are talking about one friend with multiple wives, you could say "one of my friend's wives". If you have many ...
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  • 56.8k
27 votes
Accepted

Which one is 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 ...
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  • 556
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). ...
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25 votes
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How to ask briefly about the ownership of a frying pan?

You could ask: Who owns this frying pan? Who does this frying pan belong to? Who is the owner of this frying pan? Whose frying pan is this?
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25 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 ...
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  • 87k
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 ...
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  • 1,006
21 votes
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What is the difference between S' and 'S?

Both express possession, of course. We use 's with singular nouns. For example, "my son's toys" will be "the toys that belong to my son". We use only an apostrophe (') after plural nouns that end in ...
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  • 2,780
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 ...
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  • 22.3k
19 votes

Which one is 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 ...
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  • 24.8k
19 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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  • 71.9k
18 votes
Accepted

Use master thesis or master's thesis

As suggested by snailplane, corpus searches are a good way to get a handle on which one is preferred. Google Books Ngram Viewer prefers master's thesis by a roughly six to one margin at the year 2000....
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18 votes

"She is at the dentist's now"

We don't have to. It's equally correct to say She is at the dentist now. (you can interpret "the dentist" as a synecdoche in which the person stands in for the place) or She is at the dentist's ...
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  • 14.3k
17 votes

The use of an article before a possessive proper noun - The late Michael Jackson's old home

Normally, a person's name is definite enough by itself, and there's no reason to add the definite article to it.  So, Maulik is simply "Maulik", and Maulik's car is simply "Maulik's car". ...
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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 ...
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  • 31.6k
17 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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  • 56.1k
16 votes
Accepted

Each other's / each others'

Let's take first the sentence We enjoyed each other's company. This could be paraphrased as We like each other. On the other hand, the sentence We enjoyed each others' company. uses the ...
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  • 36.1k
16 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. ...
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  • 56.8k
16 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 ...
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  • 336
16 votes
Accepted

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 ...
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