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'The' with a surname

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'The' with a surname
Message from juliak posted on 26-01-2010 at 17:48:07 (D | E | F)

Hello,
We say "This house belongs to The Johnsons"
what is correct "This is the Johnsons house" or "This is Johnsons house" (without "the")???
Thank you for your help.

-------------------
Edited by lucile83 on 27-01-2010 06:49


Re: 'The' with a surname from jonquille, posted on 27-01-2010 at 00:31:34 (D | E)
Bonjour juliak,

Which is correct "This is the Johnsons house" or "This is Johnsons house" (without "the")???

You need the article "the" before the name and an apostrophe before the s to designate who owns the house:
...the Johnson's house

If you are not sure when to include an article, substitute (or remove) the words that confuse you.

If you wrote "This is house" (removing the name), that would not make sense. You would have to say "This is the house."

Hope this helps!
jonquille

-------------------
Edited by traviskidd on 27-01-2010 05:25
Johnsons' (and the article "the" goes with "Johnsons", not with "house")

-------------------
Edited by jonquille on 29-01-2010 00:17
It is Johnsons' if the last name ends with "s".... otherwise, Johnson's. (the house of Ted Johnson = Ted Johnson's house; the house of Jack James = Jack James' house).

As for where "the" goes... I merely suggested the "substitution / removal trick" to simplify the fact that the phrase would not make sense without the word "the." The same can also be done if you removed the word "house." The phrase: "This is Johnson's" also does not make sense.


Re: 'The' with a surname from gerondif, posted on 29-01-2010 at 18:03:43 (D | E)
Hello Jonquille,

Traviskidd and I have apparently learnt the same rule:

It is possible to turn surnames into plural:

It is their house:
It is Mr and Mrs Johnson's house.
It is the Johnsons' house. (the belongs to Johnsons)

It is the Douglasses' house.

in my old grammar, a special case for:
Sophocles' plays


Re: 'The' with a surname from may, posted on 29-01-2010 at 18:58:41 (D | E)

Hello Jonquille,

I also agree with traviskidd and gerondif in this case:
This house belongs to the Johnsons (which stands for Johnson's family).
This is the Johnsons' house

However, I would go with your example:

the house of Ted Johnson = Ted Johnson's house ( you're talking about one member in the Johnsons)

Best regards,

May




Re: 'The' with a surname from jonquille, posted on 30-01-2010 at 18:46:38 (D | E)
Hello all!
Will someone just tell me to go to bed at midnight and not post comments??
Traviskid, may, and gerondif...you were absolutely correct when it comes to the plural form for names (The Johnsons' house)...I was thinking of just one person!

However, the real question was whether or not to include the word "the." I just made it an "issue" by adding the discussion about the apostrophe.

Am I forgiven?
jonquille

-------------------
Edited by jonquille on 30-01-2010 18:46


Re: 'The' with a surname from traviskidd, posted on 05-02-2010 at 06:54:41 (D | E)
Yes, you are forgiven.

However, the removal trick obscures the question, because articles are not used with possessives: "This is Mary's house" and not "This is the Mary's house" or "This is Mary's the house".

However, in this case the possessors are "the Johnsons", and this is why "the" is included. (Note that "the" is not used with the name of one person, so "the Johnson's house" is incorrect.)

P.S. Sorry if my original correction seemed a bit terse; I was in need of some Zzz's myself.


Re: 'The' with a surname from traviskidd, posted on 05-02-2010 at 07:13:52 (D | E)
A note about the apostrophe:

ALL singular nouns form their possessive by adding 's, even if they already end in s or even ss!
The witness's testimony was declared inadmissible.
Chicago is Illinois's largest city.
Hi, I'm Chris's father.

An apostrophe by itself is acceptable only if the extra /iz/ sound would sound awkward. This applies mostly to the names of ancient religious or historical figures: In Jesus' name, Moses' law, Archimedes' principle.

Down with apostrophe apostasy!




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