Appendix:Possessive

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

English has several terms that indicate the possessive, and several meanings that can be expressed thereby. Not all the terms in all registers and contexts bear all the meanings. Ways to mark the possessive:

Semantical usage[edit]

[possessive]

  1. Concerning ownership, property, possession.
    1. Connects a person to something they own, having rights over what to do with it, etc.
      I have a house and a car.
      This is her book.
      The house itself is mine, but the land is not.
      That green car of Bill's got smashed up.
      put it in my curbside mailbox
    2. Connects a person with something they have borrowed.
      I have to take my books back to the library soon.
    3. Connects a person with something they are using at the moment.
      My seat at the restaurant was uncomfortable.
  2. Concerning the body and nature of self.
    1. Connects a person or other creature to their whole body (as in: "my body", "our bodies").
    2. Connects a person or other creature with part of their body.
      The cat bit the dog’s tail and ran.
      The cat bit the dog with the shaggy fur’s tail and ran.
      • 1862 February, Julia Ward Howe, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", in The Atlantic Monthly, Volume IX, Number LII, page 10,
        Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: / []
      • 1933, Havelock Ellis, Psychology of Sex, volume 4:
        The breasts of young girls sometimes become tender at puberty in sympathy with the evolution of the sexual organs [].
      • 2006, St. John Ambulance, First on the Scene: Student Reference Guide, →ISBN, Lesson 2, page 3:
        Place the casualty on their back with feet and legs raised—this is called the shock position. [emphasis in original] Once the casualty is positioned, cover them to preserve body heat, but do not overheat.
      • 2013 July–August, Stephen P. Lownie, David M. Pelz, “Stents to Prevent Stroke”, in American Scientist:
        As we age, the major arteries of our bodies frequently become thickened with plaque, a fatty material with an oatmeal-like consistency that builds up along the inner lining of blood vessels.
    3. Connects a person or other creature with the abstract nature of self, as in mind, spirit, etc.
      her mind
      her spirit
      her soul
  3. Concerning the placement and structure of objects.
    1. Connects objects to their places.
      • 2010 October 29, Marina Hyde, The Guardian:
        It amounts to knocking on the door of No 10 then running away.
      The largest statue of the park.
      The window of the bathroom.
    2. Connects objects to their components.
      The door of the closet.
  4. Concerning relations between places.
    1. Connects a type of place (states "of" Brazil, etc.) to a larger place name or type they are part of.
      The provinces of Canada.
      The capital of Lebanon.
      How many capitals of countries do you know?
  5. Concerning jobs, titles and activities.
    1. Connects a person with a certain job to a company, organization or place.
      The CEO of the company.
      The janitor of my building.
      • 2001, Dictionary of National Biography, 2001, page 27:
        The third son, William John (1826-1902), was headmaster of the Boys' British School, Hitchin [].
    2. Connects a person with a certain political title to a place.
      The mayor of the town.
      • 1977 October 28, The Guardian:
        In a much-anticipated radio broadcast the Duke of Edinburgh said last night that Britain will be a grim place in the year 2000 [].
    3. Connects people by their association in a job or other activity.
      My secretary.
      My boss.
      My workmates.
      My teacher.
      My classmates.
      • 1972 December 29, Richard Schickel, “Masterpieces underrated and overlooked”, in Life, volume 73, number 25, page 22:
        A friend of mine who runs an intellectual magazine was grousing about his movie critic, complaining that though the fellow had liked The Godfather (page 58), he had neglected to label it clearly as a masterpiece.
    4. Connects people to a place they are associated with, such as the workplace, school or a club.
      I recognised him because he had attended my school.
      I met him at my club.
  6. Concerning personal connections other than job and activity-related ones.
    1. Connects members of a family.
      My parents won't let me go out tonight.
      I have two sisters.
      You're no son of mine.
    2. Indicates any connection between people: friends, lovers, rivals, fans, etc.
      My friends.
      • 2012 April 15, Phil McNulty, “Tottenham 1-5 Chelsea”, in BBC[1]:
        Before kick-off, a section of Chelsea’s support sadly let themselves and their club down by noisily interrupting the silence held in memory of the Hillsborough disaster and for Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini, who collapsed and died after suffering a heart attack during a Serie B game on Saturday.
      • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
        No matter how early I came down, I would find him on the veranda, smoking cigarettes, or otherwise his man would be there with a message to say that his master would shortly join me if I would kindly wait.
      • 1989, Jasper Becker and John Gittings, The Guardian, 5 Jun 1989:
        The Chinese government is at war with its own people.
      • 1594, Shakespeare, William, The Comedy of Errors, act IV, scene 3, line 1172:
        There's not a man I meet but doth salute me
        As if I were their well-acquainted friend []
      • a. 1611, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act V, Scene 1:
        [] Flesh and blood, / You, brother mine, that entertain'd ambition, / []
    3. Indicates a connection between owner and pet.
      Look what I have here—a frog I found on the street!
      • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice:
        They descended the hill, crossed the bridge, and drove to the door; and, while examining the nearer aspect of the house, all her apprehensions of meeting its owner returned.
  7. Concerning people's connections to their activities.
    1. Connects a person to their pieces of work, works of art or contributions to a certain goal.
      women’s contributions to science
      Steve's letters to me.
      • 2011, Xan Rice, The Guardian, 8 Apr 2011:
        In his first televised address since the siege in Abidjan began this week, Ouattara said he would focus on returning the country to normal to ease the plight of civilians.
      Smith's latest novel
  8. Concerning experiences, states, conditions.
    1. Connects a person or a group to something they experience (or experienced).
      Mine has been a long journey.
    2. Connects a person or a group to something they participate (or participated) in.
      The civil wars of France.
      • 2012 May 5, Phil McNulty, “Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool”, in BBC Sport:
        For Liverpool, their season will now be regarded as a relative disappointment after failure to add the FA Cup to the Carling Cup and not mounting a challenge to reach the Champions League places.
    3. Connects someone or something to a temporary state of affairs.
      We had a hard year last year, with the locust swarms and all that.
    4. Connects a diseased to a disease.
      He had a cold last week.
      He has cancer.
  9. Concerning time.
    1. Connects something to a point in time (today, yesterday, the year 2000, etc.) they exist or take place.
      Today's snow is the worst I've seen in many years.
      • 1774, Edward Long, The History of Jamaica. Or, General Survey of the Antient and Modern State of that Island, volume 2, book 2, chapter 7, 5:
        The building was erected in two years, at the parochial expence, on the foundation of the former one, which was irreparably damaged by the hurricane of Auguſt, 1712.
      • 1908, EF Benson, The Blotting Book:
        Thus, as he dressed, the thoughts and the rage of yesterday began to stir and move in his mind again.
    2. Connects something to the amount of time (e.g., 2 days, 3 months, etc.) it takes from beginning to end.
      two week's notice - a notice that one is going to work for two weeks and then leave the company
      the Hundred Years' War
      a Jupiter's year
      a day's pay
  10. Concerning characteristics, attributes, qualities and abstract ideas.
    1. Connects someone or something to an attribute or quality that seems to be associated with them naturally or by definition.
      the redness of an apple
      the emptyness of space
    2. Connects someone or something to an attribute or quality that they may have given the circumstances.
      the fault of
      • 2007, Rowling, J. K., Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, (quoted edition: London: Bloomsbury, 2008, →ISBN, page 93):
        ‘I mean ... if somebody made a mistake,’ Harry went on, ‘and let something slip, I know they didn’t mean to do it. It’s not their fault,’ he repeated, again a little louder than he would usually have spoken.
      Your good health!
    3. Connects someone with a feeling, emotion, judgement or state of mind.
      Make her sadness go away.
      grab their attention
      Let's meet tomorrow at your convenience.
      at the pleasure of Her Majesty
      We strive for your comfort.
      • 1763, Authorized King James Version of the Bible, Oxford Standard Text, Leviticus 25:5:
        That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land. (originally "of it own accord" in the 1611 first edition)
      • 1994, Paul Coates, Film at the Intersection of High and Mass Culture, page 136:
        In Blood and Sand, meanwhile, Valentino repeatedly solicits the attention of women who have turned away from him.
      • 2009 December 28, "Head to head", The Economist:
        Somehow Croatia has escaped the opprobrium of the likes of the German Christian Democrats and others that are against any rapid enlargement of the European Union to the include rest of the western Balkans.
    4. Connects a person or a company with a plan, modus operandi, philosophy, religion, political party or alignment of ideas.
      My political party is...
      • 2013 July 20, “The attack of the MOOCs”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
        Since the launch early last year of […] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.
    5. Connects someone or something to their names, ID numbers or other forms of identification.
      My ID number is...
      • 2008, Mike Knudson & Steve Wilkinson, Raymond and Graham Rule the School
        Paying no attention to Lizzy, Mrs. Gibson began calling out our names in alphabetical order.
    6. Connects a person to their place of origin.
      • 2003 August 20, Julian Borger, The Guardian:
        Within ten seconds, the citizens of New York, Cleveland, Detroit and Toronto were being given first-hand experience of what it was like to live in the nineteenth century.

See also[edit]

Entry-like pages (edit)
Typography Capital letter · Superscript · Subscript
Italics · Boldface · Underline · Strikethrough
Semantics Possessive
Suprasegmentals Repetition

References[edit]


Portuguese[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Semantical usage[edit]

[possessive]

  1. Possession, ownership.
    Eu tenho uma casa e um carro.
  2. Part of a body.
    Cauda do cachorro.
  3. Possession, holding; usage, experiencing, undergoing.
    A minha longa jornada.
  4. Attribution or derivation; from.
    Contribuições das mulheres para a ciência.
  5. Frequent use; assignment; association; membership.
    A minha mesa no restaurante.
  6. Belonging to, existing in, or taking place in a given location, place or time.
    A chuva de hoje.
  7. Belonging to (a place) through having title, ownership or control over it.
    Duque de Edimburgo
  8. Familial or similar relationship.
    Meus pais.
    Eu tenho duas irmãs.