Here and ready for the next release of the article from the series “English Grammar for beginners”. The previous five parts were well received by the readers, so we hasten to present you a new sequel. Recall: in our articles, we explain grammar with easy words, without abstruse terms to beginners to learn the language from scratch or people who don’t remember the basics of English, able to understand the grammar and apply it in practice.
In the first part of our grammar we have already talked about how to change personal pronouns in possessive case. As you remember, the words of my (mine), his (his), their (theirs), etc. show us that the item belongs to someone: my book — my book, their table, their table.
Not always pronouns is enough to specify the owner: we sometimes need to say “the car of my sister”, “book of John” etc. In this case we need to use the possessive case, i.e. to modify a noun that shows who owns that object. To do this, use the following rules:
The word That is added Example
A noun that denotes a person, animal, bird, etc., in the singular with any ending: sister (sister), John (John). + ’s my sister’s car — the car of my sister
John’s book — the book of John
A plural noun with any ending, except: women (women), children (children). women’s secrets — women’s secrets
children’s toys — children’s toys
A noun that refers to people, animals, birds, etc., in the plural ends in: dogs (dogs), girls (women). + dogs’ food — the food dogs
girls’ jackets — girls jackets
The name or surname of the person that end in: James (James), Smiths (the Smiths, the Smiths). + ’s or + ’ s horse James = James’ horse — horse James
Smiths’s car = the Smiths’ car — the car Smiths
Note: if the noun is in singular or plural refers to an inanimate object, it is better to use the possessive case and the preposition of:
smell of baked bread — the smell of baked bread
roofs of buildings — rooftops
name of this city — the name of this city
As you can see, the rules are quite simple and logical, so study them carefully and say the right thing. By the way, let’s learn together how to pronounce the ending in such words:
After voiceless consonants say the sound as /s/: Mike’s table — a table Mike, pet’s food — eating pet.
After vowels and voiced consonants say the sound loudly, as /z/: his friend’s cup — the Cup of his friend, Mary’s ball — a ball Mary.
After hissing and whistling sounds pronounced as /ɪz/: George’s room — the room of George, horse’s hooves — a horse’s hoof.
We offer you to take a test on this subject to consolidate the knowledge.
Test on the use of possessive case
There is such a thing as a complex sentence. In this case the subordinate clause can explain a major part: “the Girl who won the race is my sister”, “the Book you gave me last month, wonderful!”, etc. As you can see, these suggestions explanations joined with the conjunction “that”, “which”, “who”, “which”. In English the same function is performed by relative pronouns (relative pronouns).
Let’s learn the simple rules of the use of the three most frequently used relative pronouns who, which and that. And they are used like this:
If we’re talking about people, then surely take the pronoun who:
The girl who won the race is my sister. — The girl who won the race is my sister.
If we’re talking about inanimate things, which take:
The book which you gave me last month is fantastic! — The book you gave me last month, wonderful!
If you are unsure of the pronoun, take that: it can be used both with animate and with inanimate objects.
The girl that won the race is my sister. — The girl who won the race is my sister.
The book that you gave me last month is fantastic! — The book you gave me last month, wonderful!
Of these pronouns there are more complex nuances of usage, but we will talk about them later, but at the primary level you need to use three simple rules. Test how well you understood them, with the help of our test.
Test the use of relative pronouns
The modal verb must. As part of our “Grammar” we have already told you about the modal verbs can and may. Now it’s time to talk about the verb must. This verb also does not change depending on the pronouns that stand in front of him, it is not necessary to add the ending.
The modal verb must we use to report what we need to do something:
She must phone Jim. She should call Jim.
I’m very thirsty. I must drink something. — I’m very thirsty. I need something to drink.