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The Category of Case


Case is a grammatical category which shows relation of the noun with other words in a sentence. It is expressed by the form of the noun.

English nouns have 2 cases: the common case and the genitive case. However, not all English nouns possess the category of case; there are certain nouns, mainly nouns denoting inanimate objects, which cannot be used in the genitive case.

The common caseis unmarked, it has no inflexion (zero inflexion) and its meaning is very general.

The genitive caseis marked by the apostrophe s (s).

In writing there are 2 forms of the genitive: for most nouns it is s (mothers) and for nouns ending in -sand regular plural nouns only the apostrophe (mothers). Irregular plural nouns also add s to the noun (womens, childrens).

Besides nouns denoting living beings we can use swhen a first noun is

1. an organization (= a group of people), ships, boats, names of people to mean a house:

the governments decision, the companys success, the ships captain. We met at Bills.

2. the place: town, city, country, ocean, world, the sun, the moon, the earth, names of the countries: the citys new centre, the worlds population, Britains government, Russias exports.

3. time & distance: an hours rest, two hours drive, months holiday, nights sleep, in two years time, ten minutes break=a ten-minute break.

4. time words: tomorrows meeting, todays paper, Sundays dinner.

5. names of newspapers: The Guardians analysis, The Tribunes role.

When two persons possess or are elated to something they have in common: Mum & Dads room, John & Marys car.

In compounds and names consisting of several words the last word takes apostrophe s: My sister-in-laws guitar. My father-in-laws son. Henry the Eighths wives. The Prince of Wales helicopter.

Sometimes certain nouns can be used in the possessive case without the second noun: the bakers, the chemists. It means the bakers shop, the chemists shop.

It can also be used after the initials & the names of the owners of some business: the PMs secretary, the MPs briefcase, Selfridges, Sothebys, but Harrods, Foyles.

With Greek nouns in sof more than one syllable: Socrates, Euripides.

After the preposition of: an old friend of my mothers, that cousin of my husbands.

With for + noun+ sake: for heavens sake, for Gods sake.

With some inanimate nouns in the following set expressions: to ones hearts content(desire), at deaths door, at arms length, out of harms way, a hairs breadth, a needles eye, at a stones throw, to move at a snails pace, at the waters edge

Of+ nounis used :

1. When the possessor noun is followed by a phrase or a clause: I took the advice of a couple I met on the train & hired a car.

2. With inanimate possessors: the walls of the town, the key of the car.

3. With the words denoting quantity: part, slice, bit, etc.: a piece of cake, a slice of bread, a pound of butter, a bit of news.

: 2015-09-20; !; : 1424 | |




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