Else, Elses, Else's, Elses'

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Urius, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Urius New Member

    English
    If I were to be writing "Someone else's" which of the above words would be the correct one to write?
    The same question for "Everyone else's" :)

    Hello BTW! I'm an Englishman who is trying to brush up on his grammar and English skills for Uni. It's a pleasure to be here, and I hope to help people with whatever I know as well as simply ask questions.


    Thanks! And take care.
     
  2. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    The correct word to write depends entirely on context. Unfortunately, you have given us none....
     
  3. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    Always else's. Else is an adverb which in your phrase could be rewritten as someone different's (or instead's). There is no plural form for an adverb so elses and elses' are always wrong.
     
  4. Urius New Member

    English
    Sorry, I should've thought that one through before posting.

    "Everyone else's lives were going better than mine"

    Thanks Andygc :)
     
  5. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    There is also no possessive form for an adverb, so how can there be an "else's"? The answer, of course, is that it is being used as part of a longer phrase that is being treated as a single unit. Therefore, if you can have a possessive, you can have a plural.

    I wanted to use John for this project, but my boss would not let me because he said he was looking for "someone else" who could do a better job for less money. I was told the same thing when I suggested Nancy, Bob, and Tom. I wish I knew where all these inexpensive, experienced, hard-working someone elses could be found; if we could hire them, we would all be rich in no time.

    It is "else's" -- but note that "everyone" is singular; your sentence should be "Everyone else's life was going better than mine."
     
  6. Urius New Member

    English
    I appreciate the help. That has cleared the one up, thank you!
     
  7. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    You are trying to apply a logical argument to language, which is not a valid activity. I can easily find an example of a possessive that cannot have a plural - Earth's atmosphere contains nitrogen - what's the plural of Earth? Or if you are a Christian - God's mercy is infinite - what's the plural of God?

    That combination noun should be written someone-elses, not someone elses, or placed in quotation marks ... hard-working "someone elses" could be found ...

    As for the possessive in the original question, you could argue that it should be someone's else, but that is more difficult to say, so we end up with someone else's.
     
  8. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    You are trying to support an untenable position by advancing the necessity of using an illogical argument, which is even less valid. :D
     
  9. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    "Twenty trillion, trillion stars out there; how many Earths must there be?"

    The solution to the genitive of this type of noun phrase must be to substitute a name, "John's life was going better than mine."
     
  10. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    Just the one, all the others must have a different name, unless English is a galactic language ;)
     
  11. elbulgarian

    elbulgarian New Member

    Bulgarian
    Thanks a lot about this one. I was vague for a long time ..:)
     

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