Download our 100% free app

Find everything you need to learn English

Practice with the exercises:
Exercise 1

1. The saxon genitive

The Saxon genitive is a grammatical structure used to express possession or relationship between people or animals.

Martha's sister is pregnant.
Your dog's toy is broken.

2. How is Saxon genitive formed?

In general, to make the Saxon genitive we add (‘s) to the possessor (who something belongs to), followed by the possession. The basic structure is this one:

Poseedor  +  's  +  posesión
Rose's leather jacket is cool.
Lee's bonsai trees are beautiful.

3. Rules of Saxon genitive

Rules Examples
Subject in singular or proper name +'S Cindy's dress is beautiful!
Subject in plural ending in –S +' My friends' dog is very friendly.
Subject in plural not ending in –S +'S The children's bikes are broken.

Proper nouns ending in -S

+'S / +' Charles'('s) new flat is in the city centre.
When there are two or more possessors connected by the conjunction AND If they share the same possession, add 'S to the last possessor Mike and Judy's family is going to move to Brazil.
If they don't share the same possession, add 'S to each possessor Mike's and Judy's toys are in the box.

4. ¿Cómo se utiliza el saxon genitive?

  • When the possessor is a person or an animal they tend to use 's.
    My sister's boyfriend is Italian.
    The hamster's house needs cleaning.
    When the word to designate the possessor is a proper noun, it can't be preceded by the article the.
  • When the possessor is a thing we usually use the preposition of.
    Do you know the name of the film?
    The kitchen of this house is small.
    However, in some cases you can use 's when referring to names of countries, cities, etc. or with certain time expressions (last year, yesterday, Monday...).
    China's population is growing fast.
    Last year's holiday was great.

5. Omission of possession

When we refer to someone's home, shops, well-known public buildings, etc., we omit possession (place) and introduce only the saxon genitive:

I'm going to spend the afternoon at Mary's.
Remember to go to the baker's.

When we don't want to repeat the name of the possessed element, possession is also omitted:

- Is this book yours?
- No, it isn't. It's Molly's.


The Saxon genitive ('s or ') is used to indicate possession.
  Structure Examples
Charles' birthday is on the 6th of May.
The dog's toy.
THINGS OF The window of the house is broken.