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It is «to keep up with the Joneses». So Jones' and Jones's are strange to me.
Perhaps you may say «the Joneses' house».
I learned the rule at high school that nouns ending in -s is not followed by another -s in the genitive form, but in real life, I have seen forms contrary to the rule, such as Jones'. Has the rule collapsed? There is still a small part of the rule remaining untouched in my last question: plural nouns ending in -s. Does this rule apply to this group of nouns? Thank you for your help.
Has the rule collapsed?
I don't think it was never erected. If you look through various grammar texts-- or google 'possessive nouns' (here's a [url="http://grammar.uoregon.edu/case/possnouns.html "]GOOD SITE[/url]-- you'll find strict rules and more malleable ones. I still stick with Jesus', but let clarity and spareness rule me otherwise.
They were asking about possessive esses (to use phonetics in order to avoid use of apostrophes!) whereas "Keeping up with the Joneses" is plural.
As in Dr Jones's pen, or Dr Jones' pen, rather than the Joneses - this was brought up later in the thread.
Here is the question:
«I wonder if "the Jones' house" and "the Jones's house" are the same.»
We do not use the definite article if there is only one Jones. We say «Mr Jones's house» or «Dr Jones's house».
The house in the question is therefore not «the house of the Jones» but «the house of the Joneses».
But it is very kind of you to help me.
A.A. Long (English teacher and Cambridge English speaking examiner).
People are waiting to help.
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