hotel's electric taxi

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Ehiman

Member
Italian
Good evening, i red in a topic this sentence:
"There she changed into some more or less suitable clothes and took the hotel's electric taxi down to the lift station."
Why do they used hotel's taxi electric? it's genitive! I figured out that i had to use it for people and not for items or other.
p.s. Correct me please if I made mistakes, I'm Italian.
 
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I figured out that i had to use it for people and not for items or other.
    This is a common misconception among learners. Learners are warned that they are on safer ground if they use "of" with inanimate objects. This may or may not be good advice for beginners. Beginners are very often taught rough-and-ready rules of thumb where the real principle is not easy to explain.

    However, the learners are certainly wrong if they think that native speakers of English follow the same advice. The electric taxi belongs to the hotel, so the hotel's electric taxi is fine.
     
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    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, it's not person :)
    a book FCE ?
    We use the "genitive" or "possessive" form ending in -'s with physical things such as books and taxis when there is a relationship of belonging.
    Books typically belong to people, libraries, academic institutions or museums. So if you say "FCE's book" we assume that FCE is a person, a library, an academic institution or a museum. However, we use the definite article with abbreviations that are the names of libraries, academic institutions or museums.
    This book belonged to George Bernard Shaw ==> It was GBS's book.
    This book belongs to the London School of Economics ==> It is the LSE's book.
    This book belongs to the British Library ==> It is the BL's book.
    Therefore, if you say This is FCE's book, without the definite article, FCE must be a person.
     
    Last edited:
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