since 1997, the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

Saxon genitive

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

Moderator: Alan

Silver Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 8:29 pm
Location: Poland

Saxon genitive

Postby googl » Thu Oct 07, 2004 8:36 am

I'd like to ask whether (from grammatical point of view) is Saxon genitive ('s) a (post)determiner or an adjective? I can put 'the' before it, so it is not a central determiner nor it is a predeterminer.

User avatar
EC Teacher
EC Teacher
Posts: 12801
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Status: English Teacher
Location: Japan

Postby Alan » Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:44 am

By a rather loose, traditional classification, any determiner - and even an article - can be called an 'adjective', but generally these days we would classify possessive nouns as determiners.

The 'the' that can precede a possessive-case noun (by virtue of that noun's retention of its normal syntactic powers even when functioning determinatively) should be regarded as part of the determiner itself, rather than as an element that can be added to it. Thus we would describe possessive noun phrase the postman's in the postman's cat as a PHRASAL DETERMINER, in contrast with simple determiner Peter's in Peter's cat.

Return to “Grammar Help”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests