The apostrophe and s are also added to form the possessive plural of words whose plural does not end in s:

the oxen's food; the children's hats; the men's coats.

(2) When the plural ends in s, the possessive plural is formed by adding only the apostrophe:

the boys' knives; ladies' clothing.

(3) When two or more persons possess the same thing, the possessive sign is added only to the last. The names of the joint possessors are regarded as one long compound :

James and Henry's boat; my father and mother's property; Mary Watson and Josephine's doll; Henry Holt and Co.'s bookstore.

The Forms of the Objective Case.

The objective case of nouns has no distinctive form. It is always like the nominative. It is only the pronouns he, him; she, her; 1, me; etc. — that make a distinction in

I form between these two cases.

The Uses of the Objective Case.


There are five chief uses of the objective case: (1) as direct object, (2) as indirect object, (3) as object of a preposition, (4) as adverbial objective, and (5) as an appositive.

(1) The Objective case as Direct Object. — The direct object of every verb is in the objective case.

Of course

the verb must be transitive and in the active voice; no other kind of verb can be followed by an object :

1. I know him, but he does not know me.
2. Where did you get them ?
3: If you see Mary and James, give them this letter.
4. I saw neither Mary nor James.
5. By writing your composition now, you will save time.

6. I met your father, your elder sister, and your two brothers; and I hope soon to meet your mother and your younger sister.

Noun clauses (Chapter LVI), when used as direct objects, are in the objective case : 1. My niece heard that

you 2. We all believe that everybody ought to be educated. 3. He is unable to say where she went or who she is.

had come.

(2) The Objective Case as Indirect Object. — Notice that the words in italics in the following sentences name the person to whom or for whom something is done. They are called indirect objects:

1. Who gave you that? 2. I handed him the pencil. 3. Josephine told Robert an interesting story. 4. He made me a promise that he would teach my son French.

The indirect object is the object that comes between certain verbs and the direct object. These verbs are usually give, lend, hand, tell, make, and others of similar meaning. In "Lend me a book," me comes between the verb Lend and the direct object book.

(3) The Objective Case as Object of a Preposition. The noun or pronoun following a preposition is in the objective case. Of course a preposition does not take an object in exactly the same sense in which a transitive verb is said to take an object. No action is thought of as passing over from the preposition to the following word; but as the effect on the form of the pronoun is the same in both cases “I saw him," "I was with him" — it is needless to coin a

' new term:

1. We were speaking of him and his brother.
2. It was lying under the table.
3. By this means we kept our heads above the water.

4. The dog walked up the steps, crept through the door, and crouched on the rug just behind my chair.

(4) The Objective Case as. Adverbial Objective. — In “He slept an hour, He ran a mile,” the nouns hour and mile are used adverbially. They are not the objects of their verbs, for these verbs are intransitive. Hour and mile do not tell what he slept and what he ran, but how long he slept and how far he ran. After verbs of motion to go, to come the adverbial objective often answers the question“ where? It will be seen at once that pronouns cannot be used in this way. How do we know, then -- since we cannot make the test of he, him, or I, me — that hour and mile are in the objective case? We only infer it; in Old English and other inflected languages such words had the objective ending:

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I. He went east, and I returned home.
2. Is he going to stay all night?

3. This table is a yard wide.
4. She is fourteen years old.

In the last two sentences, yard and years are adverbial because they modify the adjectives wide and old.

(5) The Objective Case as an Appositive (Chapter LI).

The appositive is in the objective case only when its antecedent is an objective. Pronouns are comparatively rare in this construction :

1. I once saw Wilhelmina, the queen of Holland. 2. Tell Egbert, my older brother, about it.

3. She was with her brother and her sister, Robert and Margaret, when the accident happened.

4. The people of England beheaded Charles I, him of Star Chamber fame.

The Uses of the Objective Case.

The five principles governing the use of the objective case may now be summed up as follows:

(1) The direct object of every verb is in the objective case.

(2) The indirect object of every verb is in the objective


(3) The object of every preposition is in the objective


(4) Every noun used as an adverb is in the objective case.

(5) Every appositive having an objective case as its antecedent is in the objective case.



1. What two forms has the possessive case?

2. Use each of the following words and groups of words in the possessive case : dog monkey

Rufus gentleman

monkeys daughters-in-law gentlemen


President of France brothers

Governor of Texas women brethren

Secretary of War



Use the following words and groups of words as the direct objects of transitive verbs :

New York; George Washington; Lee and Jackson; him; them; father; summer; why he did it; that she is innocent.


Tell which words in these sentences are in the objective case, and why:

1. He gave me the book lying on the table. 2. Have you read the poems of Whittier?

3. Did Santa Claus bring every boy and girl in the family a present?

4. Under the protection of this mighty potentate, the good people of Little Britain sleep in peace.

5. When you first told me of your adventure, I believed every word of your story; but now I have my doubts about it.

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