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Help with possessive apostrope with multiple subjects

 
 
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2013 12:51 pm
What is the correct placement of apostrophes in this sentence?

This case revolves around the defendants', John, Mike, and James', fraudulent conduct.
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Type: Question • Score: 6 • Views: 1,611 • Replies: 11
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tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2013 01:05 pm
@helpmewithgrammar,
First and foremost, the comma in front of fraudulent has to go.

Second: To clarify... are John, Mike, and James the defendants in this sentence or someone else? If they are then the sentence needs further reworking.

Try:
This defendant's case revolves around John, Mike, and James' fraudulent conduct.
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neologist
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2013 01:39 pm
@helpmewithgrammar,
Or, possibly:
The case revolves around the alleged fraudulent conduct of the defendants John, Mike, and James.
helpmewithgrammar
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2013 04:59 pm
@neologist,
Thanks. I know the sentence isn't worded very well, but I am trying to find out the general rule for where apostrophes go in sentences where you enumerate the subjects between two commas. Yes, John, Mike, and James are the defendants.

Let's say there are 3 defendants in the case - John, John's Company A, John's company B - and I had to word the sentence the following way. Where do the apostrophes go?:

"This case revolves around the defendants', John and his two companies', failure to adhere to a contract."

The sentence is basically saying "This case revolves around the defendants' failure to adhere to a contract," but the defendants are listed between the commas.
leball
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2013 06:12 pm
@helpmewithgrammar,
try this
the case revolves around John, and his two companies, and their failure to adhere to a contract.
this negates having to use plural possessive apostrophes in the sentence
hope this helps
neologist
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Nov, 2013 06:28 pm
@leball,
Agreed. Whenever your chosen words make the sentence seem goofy, change it
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Roberta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 04:04 am
@helpmewithgrammar,
helpmewithgrammar wrote:

What is the correct placement of apostrophes in this sentence?

This case revolves around the defendants', John, Mike, and James', fraudulent conduct.


The first apostrophe is ok. The second one should go.

This case revolves around the defendants', John, Mike, and James, fraudulent conduct.

The names of the defendants aren't relevant to the construction of the sentence. They could easily be in parentheses, and nothing would change.

This case revolves around the defendants' (John, Mike, and James)fraudulent conduct.
Miss L Toad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 08:40 pm
@helpmewithgrammar,
My fathers-in-law's straps! This is trickier than apostasy.

http://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/apostro.asp
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2013 09:45 pm
@Miss L Toad,
How many fathers-in-law must one put up with?
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izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2013 06:52 am
@Roberta,
I agree with you.
0 Replies
 
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2013 10:58 am
@helpmewithgrammar,
helpmewithgrammar wrote:

Let's say there are 3 defendants in the case - John, John's Company A, John's company B - and I had to word the sentence the following way. Where do the apostrophes go?:

"This case revolves around the defendants', John and his two companies', failure to adhere to a contract."


I think the commas enclosing the list are parenthetical ones and therefore the list is isolated so I would only apostrophise defendants'

This case revolves around the defendants', John and his two companies, failure to adhere to a contract.

This case revolves around the defendants' (John and his two companies) failure to adhere to a contract.



0 Replies
 
helpmewithgrammar
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Nov, 2013 01:16 am
Thanks guys.
0 Replies
 
 

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