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The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Category: Possessives

Plural Possessive Noun

Posted on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, at 6:00 am

A plural possessive noun is a plural noun that indicates ownership of something. Example The dog's food is in the bag on the floor. (singular possessive: one dog) The dogs' food is in the bag on the floor. (plural possessive: multiple dogs) In the two sentences, the nouns dog and dogs are neither the subjects …

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Is It Associate Degree or Associate’s Degree?

Posted on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, at 6:00 am

American English is replete with style questions and details. One item that can remain elusive for those seeking consistency in their writing is the treatment of academic degrees. If you complete your education at a junior college, have you earned an associate degree—or an associate’s degree? Let’s discuss that further and arrive at direction you …

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Is It Veterans’ Day, Veteran’s Day, or Veterans Day?

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2021, at 6:00 am

As November 11 approaches, some people may wonder how to write the name of the November 11 American holiday that commemorates the end of world-war hostilities in 1918 and 1945 as well as all who have served the U.S. Armed Forces. Do we use an apostrophe when spelling Veterans Day? The answer is no. According …

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Is It Bachelors Degree or Bachelor’s Degree?

Posted on Monday, July 26, 2021, at 6:00 am

One of the ironies of education is that many people receive four-year degrees in the U.S. each year but aren’t sure whether their achievement needs to be written with an apostrophe. Even if you did well in English and grammar courses earlier on, such a detail may not be something you address every day. Do …

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Is It Father’s Day or Fathers Day?

Posted on Thursday, June 10, 2021, at 6:00 am

As the third Sunday in June approaches, many of you may be wondering how to write the name of the holiday—is it Father’s Day, Fathers’ Day, or Fathers Day? We last looked into the topic of where to properly place holiday apostrophes in a 2018 newsletter. Today we provide an update. Do You Use an …

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Possessive Pronouns

Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at 6:00 am

A possessive pronoun is a pronoun that indicates or identifies ownership. It can be either an adjective or a stand-in for an antecedent, the noun to which it refers. Possessive Pronoun: Adjective Possessive Pronoun: Stand-In Noun my her mine hers your our yours ours his their his theirs What Are Possessive Pronouns: Adjectives A possessive …

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Their vs. There vs. They’re

Posted on Friday, March 12, 2021, at 9:00 am

One of the hardest things to master in English is the difference among three very similar words: their, there, and they're. Because these words have similar spellings and nearly identical pronunciations, they tend to be commonly misused. Learning to put each one in its correct place is a great way to write more clearly. Or, …

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Is It Masters Degree or Master’s Degree?

Posted on Monday, March 8, 2021, at 9:00 am

Many may wonder whether to add an apostrophe to master's degree, something than can confuse even those with a highly advanced education in working with words. We will address a few facets concerning this term, including apostrophes, possessive use, and capitalization. Do You Use an Apostrophe When Spelling Master's Degree? The most direct answer is …

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Expressing Possession of Gerunds

Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, at 11:00 pm

A gerund is the present participle (-ing) form of a verb functioning as a noun in a sentence. Example: He responded by laughing. (The gerund "laughing" is the noun object of the preposition "by.") A gerund phrase is a gerund plus another element such as an adverb, an adjective, or a noun. Example: Saving money …

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Expressing Possession Greater Than One

Posted on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, at 11:00 pm

Communicating joint ownership can be a grammatical no-man’s land for many of us. Whether we were listening, speaking, or writing, we’ve probably found ourselves with statements similar to these: Chuck and Joe’s vacation resorts are in South America. Chuck’s and his vacation resorts are in South America. Theirs and Marla’s meetings are on Tuesday. Marla …

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