Discussion in 'English Only' started by Imladris, Mar 17, 2009.
Is that your parent's / parents' car?
Is "parent's" wrong? Why?
I wouldn't say it's wrong, it's just different. If you write "parent's" then you're talking about one parent. "That parent's child is misbehaving a lot at school". You're only refering to a particular parent.
It follows that "parents'" would be plural. "The parents' child is misbehaving at school". Now you'd be referring to both parents.
Curlyboy20 is right.
Look at whatever appears before the apostrophe.
My parent's car = the car of my parent ("parent" comes before the apostrophe, so you're referring to only one person here)
My parents' car = the car of my parents (because "parents" comes before the apostrophe.
the girl's book = the book of the girl (singular)
the girls' book = the book of the girls (more than one)
What do you think about this?
Is that ..........?
a) the your parents' car
b) your parent's car
c) your parents' car
from New English File Elementary Teacher's Book (Quick Tests) published by Oxford
B and C would be correct. Letter A doesn't make sense.
The key says C is correct. I try to understand why the writers (native speakers) used this question.
The question-setter is making the reasonable assumption that we do not talk about my parent's car referring to a car belonging to only one parent.
If the car belongs to one parent then it is either my father's car or my mother's car.
While technically correct, my parent's car is very unlikely to be used naturally - and that is what the question-setter is expecting you to understand.
Thank you, panjandrum. Your post has really helped.
It's a cute idea that everyone has two parents who share a car!!
I guess if you only had one parent you would tend to say:
My mum's car
My dad's car.
Separate names with a comma.