English - Native speakers

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I got a little confuse by possessive s

The rule goes that all regular plurals get the ending s' f.e. my parents' house

So then it is my brother's house in singular and my brothers' house in plural?

  • English - Native speakers -

    Yes, you are right. Good for you!

  • English - Native speakers -

    Ok so does my parent's house exist? What about wife-wives? It is irregular plural so according to the rule it would go wife's and wives'? Hmm doesn't the rule say that irregular plurals get the ending 's but it can't go wives's!

  • English - Native speakers -

    Parent's house = house belonging to one parent but not the other.

    his wife's house = house belonging to one wife

    those wives' houses = houses belonging to several wives

    And yes, there is no word spelled wives's.

  • English - Native speakers -

    Yes I got it. But one question remains. If the rule says that irregular plurals get 's and not s' why do we say then wives' if it is the irregular plural?

  • English - Native speakers -

    With ANY plural possessive form, if the last letter of the word is -s, then you add only the apostrophe, not another s. (The same is not true of singular possessives.)

    IRREGULAR
    child -- child's
    children -- children's

    REGULAR
    boy -- boy's
    boys -- boys'

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/possessives.htm

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