Grammar for Sweet tooth (Ch2) – The Genitive (‘s)


1. The genitive’s form is identical to the form of two contractions

To show that something belongs to someone or something, we often use the genitive. The genitive = ‘s. For example, “The man’s car wouldn’t start because it had run out of petrol.” Here, ‘s means the car belongs to the man.

The contraction (shortening) of ‘is’ and ‘has’ produces a form that is identical to the genitive. In other words, all of them = ‘s

EXAMPLES: “He has gone to see a movie’ = “He’s gone to see a movie” and “He is in the cinema” = “He’s in the cinema”

2. Look again at this extract from Sweet tooth (Ch2). Can you find two examples of the genitive and one of a contraction? Is it the contraction for ‘has or the contraction for ‘is’?

The dentist’s name is Cedric Links. She couldn’t stop talking about him…’

‘Did Mrs. Wilson get a tooth out?’

‘Not just one,’ Tracey replied, counting out the customer’s change. ‘Two.’

‘TWO!’ Wendy cried.

‘See you later. Bye,’ Tracey said to the customer and turned to Wendy again. ‘I went along and got a check-up too.’

‘You didn’t tell me.’

Tracey shrugged. ‘It’s no big deal. Anyway, he was great.

3. Decide if the ‘s in these sentences are examples of the genitive, a contraction of ‘is’, or a contraction of ‘has’.

a. The book that he’s reading was written by his father’s best friend.

b. What’s the name of the company that repaired your car’s windscreen?

c. My iPad’s screen was badly damaged when I dropped it, so now I have to use my wife’s.

d. The website’s been visited by over ten thousand people since its beginning and the number’s growing.


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