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A. The Dependent Genitive.
1. The chief meaning of the genitive case is that of possession:
...a young man and a girl came out of the solicitor’soffice. (Braine)
He stayed at Fanny’sflat. (Aldington)
2. Very close to the meaning of possession is that of a part to a whole:
A faint smile had come on Victorine’sface — she was adding up the money
she might earn. (Galsworthy)
His sister’seyes fixed on him with a certain astonishment, obliged him at last
to look at Fleur. (Galsworthy)
3. The Dependent Genitive may express the doer of an action (the so-called subjective genitive) or show that some person is the object of the action (the so-called objective genitive):
It was Tom’sstep, then, that Maggie heard on the steps. (Eliot)
Gwendolen’sreception in the neighbourhood fulfilled her uncle’s
4. The noun in the genitive case may denote qualitative relations:
He looked ever so much smarter in his new officer’sclothes with the little
blue chevron... (Aldington)
The use of the genitive case of nouns denoting inanimate things and abstract notions is rather limited.
The genitive case of nouns denoting inanimate things may denote therelations between a part and the whole.
...the sudden shaking of an aspen’sleaves in the puffs of breeze that rose
along the river... (Galsworthy)
He stepped on the truck’srunning board hanging on with his left arm. (Heym)
The genitive case of nouns expressing time, space and weight is widely used.
From the depot he was sent to the officers’ training camp with two days’
They both quite took to him again and during his month’sleave gave him a
good time. (Aldington)
There is a remnant still of the last year’s golden clusters... (Eliot)
The three of us had had dinner, and walked down past the theatre to the
B. The Absolute Genitive.
1. The Absolute Genitive may be used anaphorically.
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Mrs. Moss’s face bore a faded resemblance to her brother’s.(Eliot)
The face Michael drew began by being Victorine’sand ended by being
2. The Absolute Genitive may have local meaning: the stationer’s, the baker’s, the tobacconist’s, my uncle’s, etc.
On her way home she usually bought a slice of honey-cake at the baker’s.
“My dear,” said the lace collar she secured from Partridge’s,“I fit you
The Absolute Genitive may be introduced by the preposition of.
She is a relation of the Colonel’s. (Austen)
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