EN: butcher's, chemist's, newsagent's

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Louidji, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. Louidji New Member

    Français - Belgique
    I wonder how to form the plural of these public places (written with " 's" : Butcher's, chemist's, newsagent's,...

    "There are some chemists in my village." or "There are some chemistries." ?

    Thanks a lot.
  2. Franco-filly Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - Southern England
    There are some chemists would mean some scientists i.e. the people. I assume we would write: Chemists', butchers', etc. I must admit I've not really thought about this before, but presumably it's an abbreviation for "Chemist's shop" so more than one would be chemists' shops.
  3. Hildy1 Senior Member

    English - US and Canada
    Or in the North American version, the places would be called pharmacies.
  4. SteveD

    SteveD Senior Member

    Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium
    British English
    The great apostrophe challenge!

    When talking about the shop of a butcher, chemist etc, assume that there is only one butcher per shop: The butcher's shop; The chemist's shop etc. If it is clear that you are referring to the shop of these people, you could simply say, "The butcher's, The chemist's etc.

    If you say, "There are some chemists in my village", people will understand you to mean "chimistes" rather than "pharmaciens". You would have to say "...some chemist's shops". Likewise, you would say "The butcher's shops"; "The newsagent's shops" in the plural.

    If you were specifically referring to two or more butchers who work in the shop/s, you would say, "The butchers' shop/s".
  5. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    Yes, Hildy, but that doesn't solve the question.

    I think in everyday speech we'd say "There are several butchers' in the village", or to be quite explicit "There are several butchers' shops...".


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