Case is the form of the noun which shows the relation of the noun to other words in the sentence. English nouns have a two-case system: the unmarked common case and the marked genitive case. The genitive case is formed by means of the suffix ó's or an apostrophe (ó') alone. The simplest rule to remember is: add ~'s to any personal noun unless it is in the form of a plural ending -s, in which case, just add an apostrophe (óĎ)
In addition to its use with regular plurals, the zero genitive occurs:
with Greek names of more than one syllable: Archimedes' Law, Achillesí heel
with many other names ending in [z] where, in speech, zero is a variant of the regular iz genitive:. Burnís\Burns, Dickensís/ Dickensí *with fixed expressions of the form forÖsake: for goodnessí sake, for old timesí sake. The spelling without the apostrophe is preferable in for goodness sake.
Compound nouns have ~ís added to the final component: my sister-in-lawís property
Depending on the relation between the head word and its modifier in the genitive case, we can distinguish the following kinds of genitive:
1) possessive genitive
my son's wife ó my son has a wife
2) subjective genitive
the boyís application - the boy applied
3) objective genitive
The boyís release- released the boy
4) genitive of origin
The girlís story ó the girl told the story
5) descriptive genitive
A womenís college-a college for women
6) genitive of measure
Ten daysí absence- the absence lasted ten days
The genitive case is used:
∑ with personal names: Maryís house
∑ with personal nouns: the little girlís doll
∑ with collective nouns: the committeeís decision
∑ with the names of higher animals: a catís tail
∑ with geographical names: Londonís biggest cinema
∑ with the names of newspapers
∑ with temporal or distance nouns: a dayís work, an hourís delay
∑ set expressions: a stoneís throw away(ūůÍÓť ÔÓšŗÚŁ), at armís length(Ūŗ ūŗŮŮÚÓˇŪŤŤ), to oneís heart content(ÓÚ šůÝŤ, ‚ ‚ÓŽĢ), at deathís door( ÔūŤ ŮžŚūÚŤ)
a specific feature of the English genitive case is the so called group genitive when ~ís can be added:
* to a group of two coordinate nouns if such a group refers to a single idea:
Ex; Alex and Andyís father/ Alexís and Andyís father.
The noun in the genitive may be used without a head-word. This is called the independent o absolute genitive. It is used:
∑ to avoid repetition: Your coat is more fashionable than Annís.
∑ to denote places where business is conducted(the hairdresserís, the bakerís)
Sometimes ~ís can be combined with of-phrase in a construction called the double genitive: an old friend of my fatherís.
5. The use of the indefinite article with countable nouns.
The main functions of the indefinite article are classifying, generic, numerical.
In classifying function the indef. article shows that the speaker is characterizing a person, object or event only as a specimen of a certain class of things of the same kind. I am a student. Somewhere a telephone began to read.
The noun preceded by the classifying indef article may be accompanied by pre- or post modifying attributes: it is a very interesting novel.
The indef article is also used in predicative and adverbial phrases with like & as:I was trembling like a leaf.
In the generic function the indef article implies that the object denoted by the noun is spoken of as a representative of the class, and therefore what is said about one specimen of a class can be applied to all the specimen of the class. The meaning of the article with sing nouns here is close to every/any. A sonnet is a poem of fourteen lines.
The indefinite article in its generic function is often used in proverbs: A cat has nine lives.
In its numeric function the indefinite article always implies the idea of Ďonenessí. The numerical meaning is generally found:
∑ with nouns denoting time, measure, weight.
We stared intently at her for a minute or two.
∑ With the numerals hundred, thousand, million, dozen, score.
Iíve told you a hundred times that you mustnít trust that man.
∑ After the negative not: not a word was spoken in the parlour.
∑ in some set phrases, like at a gulp, at a time.
∑ Between two noun groups in expressions denoting prices, salaries, speeds.