English grammar - Genitive case of English

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Hello Readers of Learn Words, in this article we will learn the genitive case of the English language, it may sound a bit strange to mention by name a case of declension of a language, but differently as with Slavic languages ​​(such as Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian and etc.) as well as in German, Hungarian and Arabic, English does not change the end of the word to make sense of it according to its gender, let us first understand what is the genitive case.

Genitive Case - What of Possession

In our language when we want to say that something belongs to someone or we use the prepositions (de, do, da, dos, das) and if we refer to something that belongs to us we use possessive pronouns (mine, yours, ours ...) in Portuguese and English this it is no different, when the possessive pronoun is hidden (whether that adjective or noun) an apostrophe (') followed by an “s” is used to indicate possession.

Possession for people:

Let's look at the phrases: “Bob's Cat = Bob's cat (referring to the animal)

Note that it is in the genitive Bo's = indicating that Bob has something or something belongs to him.

Would be wrong translating “The cat of Bob” in that sentence although it indicates that Bob has a cat, would go against the syntax of the English language, PAY ENOUGH ATTENTION IN THE GENITIVE.

Let's see more phrases


Raphael's House = The house of Raphael (The House of Raphael)

(The House of Raphael) = Incorrect

My brother's iPhone = My Brother's iPhone

(The iPhone of my Brother) = Incorrect


Ownership for animals

Let's see: The dog's bone = The dog's bone

(The bone of the dog) = Incorrect

The cat's tail = The cat's tail

(The tail of the cat) = Incorrect

We note that in this case we use the definite article “THE”, its use in this case is used because we are referring to animated beings without their own name

Genitive in other cases:

The genitives can also be used to indicate function over time:


Today's magazine = Today's magazine

(The maganize of today) = Incorrect

Wednesday's dinner = Wednesday's dinner

we use for countries and cities:

The museum of Japan = Japan's museum

The rivers of Brazil = Brazil's rivers

Genitive in the plural

When we use the plural, the genitive case is not left out, but there are some rules:

  • If the noun to which it is in the genitive is for the plural (since it already ends in “S”), just apostrophe (')

Ex: The Dog's food

        The Dogs' food

  • Possessive pronouns with It do not add the apostrophe as it would be the abbreviation for It is (it´s), so only the “s” is added without the apostrophe

Ex: Its food is in the bowl (The food is in your bowl)

Now if a noun does NOT end it has "s" it must be added after the apostrophe.


Mouse = Mice = The mices nest (O rat's nest)

Genitive for inanimate

This case is also used for inanimate beings:  time, measures, places with names of people, countries, celestial bodies like Earth, The world, names that represent a group of people (companiesteams, governments, etc.), legal entities and the like. So, it can be said.


The Saturn's Rig = Saturn's rings

The Earth's atmosphere