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  1. #1

    Plural possessives

    I really should know this... (sigh)

    Which is right, if any?

    "Stu and I's dog"
    "Stu and my dog"
    "Mine and Stu's dog"
    "My and Stu's dog"

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Ian Barker

    Re: Plural possessives

    The general rule is that you keep the same posessive as if the subject were singular. So, you wouldn't write "I's dog", nor would you write "mine dog" (unless you were German), which makes one and three of your list incorrect. In two the dog only belongs to you.

    Which leaves four as being technically correct, but still clumsy. I'd look for an easier alternative. "our dog", or "the dog belonged to Stu and me".


  3. #3

    Re: Plural possessives

    Thanks very much, Ian. That helps a great deal.

  4. #4
    Gary Kessler

    Re: Plural possessives

    Unlisted example five, "Stu's and my dog," as least wrong, if there's no convenient way to rewrite. (This is still not good, because, if you substituted "Peter" for "me," "Stu's and Peter's dog" would technically be incorrect; correct rendering would be "Stu and Peter's dog." All of your examples just paint you in a "no win" corner. "Stu and my dog" would mean those two, not just the dog. First example is out, because "I's" can't be a possessive and would send your reader dashing for the exits; last two examples are out, because personal reference always goes last in a series.)

    (And this would be referred to as multiple possessives, not plural possessives. The Smiths' dog is plural possessive.)

  5. #5

    Re: Plural possessives

    I'm officially in my place, Gary. ;-) I appreciate your insight, and have happily tucked this feather of info into my cap.

    Thanks very much!

  6. #6
    Roy Abrahams

    Re: Plural possessives

    Hi, Bohdi:

    Gary's option number five is correct as far as grammar goes. There is another reason for it being correct, if I'm remembering correctly. It goes something like this: when two persons are listed as possessors of something, the person speaking should make reference to the other person first....as in "My wife's and my new car." Were the wife speaking, it would read "My husband's and my car." It may seem cumbersome but shouldn't. The alternatives are sentences with more words yet.


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