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In English, possession is formed in either of two ways:

1. As a prepositional phrase such as in

The caveman found the feathers of a phoenix by a stream.

2. With an apostrophe such as in

The caveman found a phoenix's feathers by a stream.


We can see that "the feathers of a phoenix"="a phoenix's feathers."

To convert a prepositional phrase which expresses possession to the form using the appostrophe, follow these steps:

1. Remove the preposition "of."

the feathers (X) a phoenix

2. Take the object of the preposition and its modifiers ("a phoenix") and move it to the left.

a phoenix<-- the feathers

3. Stick an appostrophe s onto the word that had been the object of the preposition.

a phoenix's the feathers

4. Remove the article (if there is one) of the word being modified ("feathers").

a phoenix's feathers.

5. Done!

If the noun that is going to get the apostrophe is plural and ends in an "s" you only add the apostrophe.

*Very Important!* There are different styles of doing possession with appostrophes. Although this is the basic format, always check to see which style the teacher or publication uses. (I have been taught 3 different ones, but the one given here is the one most commonly used in the USA.)


Turn these prepositional phrases into the possessive form that uses an apostrophe.

1. the bones of the dog

2. the toy of the children

3. the bows of the dresses

4. the collars of the shirts

5. the buttons of the shirts

6. the walking stick of Mr. James

7. the pocket of the jacket

8. the laces of the sneakers

9. the heels of the pumps

10. the catch of the necklace

11. the fastner of the purse

12. the gems of the rings

13. the salute of the men

14. the curtsies of the little girls

15. the greeting of the farmers

16. the salute of the noblefolk

17. the kisses of the mother

18. the crown of the princess


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