Adding a noun or proper name before a possessive pronoun
In Dutch, we sometimes add the possessor's name before the pronoun. It is considered very informal, if not colloquial. We only do this for the third person singular and plural:
|Dat is Loes haar jas.
||That is Loes' (her) coat.
|Ik heb de buurman zijn sleutel hier liggen.
||I have the neighbour's (his) key (lying) here.
|De atleten hun medailles.
||The athletes' (their) medals.
Turning a proper name into a possessive noun
Next to possessive pronouns, we also have possessive nouns. We find the same in English, e.g. "Andrew's bicycle". In Dutch, we also add the letter 's' to the proper name.
There are two differences between Dutch and English. In Dutch:
- We can only turn proper names into possessive nouns. Andrew's bicycle is possible, but my neighbour's bicycle is not.
- We only use an apostrophe if the name ends in a vowel (with the exception of the mute e) or the letter s.
Dat is Loes' jas.
|That is Loes' coat.
- Because Loes ends in 's', we do not add an extra 's'. We simply add an apostrophe. This is identical to English.
- Oma ends in a long vowel (a). To keep the vowel long, we add an apostrophe.
- Janneke ends in a mute e. We do not have to add an apostrophe.
- Tom ends in a consonant. We do not have to add an apostrophe.