Uses of The Genitive Case :
Nouns denoting inanimate objects are seldom put in the Genitive Case. Thus we do not
the house's roof
the garden's fruit
the cottage's door
Relationship in such cases is indicated by the Preposition OF or the Noun can sometimes be used as if it were an Adjective.
The flowers of summer=the summer flowers
The door of the cottage=the cottage door
The streets of the city=the city streets
The Genitive Case was once used with any kind of Noun. But now it is now usually restricted to those shown below.
(1) Nouns denoting persons such as….
a man's foot
(2) Nouns denoting any kind of living thing other than man such as…
A cat's tail
a horse’s head
a bird's feathers
(3) Nouns denoting personified things such as…
(4) Nouns denoting time such as….
A day's journey
a month's holiday
three weeks' leave
a year's absence
in two hours' time
(5) Nouns denoting space such as….
A boat's length
a hair's breadth
a razor's edge
a stone's throw
a needle's point
(6) Nouns denoting weight such as….
A pound's weight
a ton's weight
(7) Nouns denoting value such as….
A shilling’s worth
five pounds' worth
(8) Nouns signifying certain dignified objects such as….
the soul’s delight
the law’s delays
the mind's eye
the ocean's roar
the country's good
(9) The Genitive is also used in a few familiar phrases in which it has been retained for the sake of shortness.
Out of harm's way
at his wits' end
for mercy's sake
He did it to his heart's content
the ship's passengers
at his fingers’ ends
he got to his journey's end
the boat's crew
(10) Genitive Case in Apposition
When one Genitive Case is in apposition with another, the apostrophe s is added only
to one of the Nouns, not to both.
Herod married his brother Philip's wife.
(11) Also when two Nouns are closely connected, the apostrophe s is added only to the second such as…
It happened during William and Mary's reign.
(12) Genitive Case in Phrases
The s may be added to the last word of a phrase when the phrase is regarded as a
Compound Noun and denotes some person or persons.
The Government of India's order
My son-in-law's house
The Duke of Buckingham's death
(13) A PICTURE OF SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL means a picture presenting a likeness of Sir Winston Churchill. But A PICTURE OF SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL'S means
(i) a picture owned by him
(ii) a picture painted by him
(14) A Noun denoting some kind of place or building is sometimes omitted after a Noun in the Genitive Case.
I will see you at the barber's (shop).
We found him studying hard at his tutor’s (house).
He attends St. Xavier's (school).
RELATED PAGES :
- Noun and Case
- Kinds of Cases in English
- The Nominative Case
- The Subjective Case
- The Straight Case
- The Upright Case
- Nominative Case Pronouns
- Nominative Pronouns
- The Vocative Case
- The Genitive Case
- The Possessive Case
- The Accusative Case
- The Objective Case
- The Dative Case
- Genitive Case in Phrases
- Genitive Case in Apposition
Uses of The Genitive Case :
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