Tag Archives: Possession

Verbs as Nouns: participles and gerunds—grammatical chameleons

Verbs as nouns Some words are like amphibious vehicles that can be both a boat and a truck: the same basic word form is equally at home behaving in very different ways One of the confusing aspects of English is that the same word can act as different parts of speech, or change the function

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Apostrophes and place names

In Australia, it is quite simple, if ungrammatical and plain stupid. A bureaucratic body ( the Geographical Names Board) decided back in 1966 that no Australian place names should contain apostrophes.  This means we are stuck with wrong-looking (and, in my view, plain wrong) names such as Devils Marbles (thankfully, we can use the Indigenous

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The possessive apostrophe: plural words and names

Many people think about apostrophes in the same way they think about getting stuck in a patch of cactus: they’d rather not. But possessive apostrophes for plural words and names are relatively simple (certainly compared with singular personal names).  There is straightforward two-step process: Step 1:  Add an apostrophe after the end of the plural

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The possessive apostrophe: singular words, Part 2 – personal and ‘ancient’ names

Ancient and modern names The goddess Venus is an example of ancient name but is Venus Williams considered an ancient or a modern name? If you read grammar reference books, you will see that a different rule applies to what are called ‘ancient’ names and sometimes to personal names that end in s, x or

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