Now, permit us expect that the brother in "1" is a brother-in-law and also that all the brother in "2" are brothers-in-law.

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Question is: just how do us rewrite "1" and also "2" in these cases?

Following the J.R."s suggestion, I have actually done some preliminary researches and also I discovered that when in-laws become possessive brothers-in-law is written brother-in-law"s. So, I would certainly conclude the we must rewrite "1" and also "2" in the same way, as follow.

i) mine brother-in-law"s friend"s opinions.

ii) mine brother-in-law"s friend"s opinions.

But, if it is so, how can we identify the two different cases?


plural-forms apostrophe possessives
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edited Jul 25 "17 at 14:00
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ColleenV
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asked Mar 31 "13 in ~ 17:42
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So let"s start with the singular "brother-in-law", which is perfectly clear. If you have actually a single brother-in-law and he own something, this is composed as:

My brother-in-law"s cooking an abilities are excgaianation.netent.

If you have an ext than one brother-in-law (no possession) you would write:

My brothers-in-law space all brunettes.

This is due to the fact that when pluralizing a compound noun, us always add the "s" come the most "important" word. The reality that they space brothers is most important, for this reason it gets the "s". This is the very same for "mothers-in-law", "fathers-in-law", etc.

If girlfriend have an ext than one brother-in-law and also they all very own something:

My brothers-in-law"s restaurant is the best in town!

Confirmation of this final building can be uncovered at grammarbook.com:

Rule 7

If the compound noun is plural, form the plural very first and then use the apostrophe.

Example:my two brothers-in-law"s hats


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answer Mar 31 "13 at 18:25
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WendiKiddWendiKidd
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Wendi, i was puzzled by "The Cambridge overview to English Usage", which excludes that "brothers-in-law's" is correct. In reality in that book it is claimed "But once in-laws come to be possessive, the forms are fully English: brother-in-law's, father-in-law's etc." (the mentioned creates are brothers-in-law, fathers-in-law etc.)
–user114
Mar 31 "13 in ~ 18:38


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This controversy seems to count on a pair of printed authorities (like the Cambridge Guide), but this building is so low frequency that many grammars donʼt have any information on it. Couple of native speakers ever need to usage it, for this reason intuitions are difficult to access.

The comments so much ignore the reality that syntax is not "flat"; grammatical units space grouped into hierarchical units. The plural of nouns belongs to the simple category that the noun, however the genitive/possessive belongs come the whole noun phrase, as proven by phrases choose "the queen of England"s crown" (not *the queen"s of England crown): in<s crown>, the own S belongs to the phrase "the queen of England".

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So the plural of "brother-in-law" (at the very least in the typical language) is "brothers-in-law", since the plural goes top top the ceiling noun. The possessive cannot be *brother"s-in-law; it needs to be "brother-in-law"s", and also that is what indigenous speakers to speak ("We saw my brother-in-law"s house").

By this logic, the plural possessive have to be "brothers-in-law"s" (no matter what any type of guide says!), but at least where i come from, the colloquial language resolves it as "brother-in-laws"". We have tendency not to non-standard many (e.g. 2 brother-in-laws, 2 attorney generals). Allow the purists cringe, yet it"s a much more natural, "English" solution.

The readers of this post should decide who they trust more--a pronouncement indigenous a guide on a low-frequency construction, or the intuitions that millions of aboriginal speakers that English. What would certainly most world produce and/or comprehend?