Hi, bear_bear,

I'm not sure if you don't understand the meaning of "fall from grace" or the function of the apostrophe.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, where one of your sentences seems to have been taken from, "fall from grace" can be defined as a situation in which you do something that makes people in authority stop liking or admiring you. This expression is usually used to refer to people who were once famous and respected and no longer are.

If your question is why an apostrophe is used, as you know apostrophes can express possession. In fact, if the actor and the minister are men, we can use the possessive of "he":

1'. His fall from grace was due to his foul mouth and poor timekeeping.

2'. His fall from grace gave his enemies great satisfaction.

Possessives are very often used to connect a subject and the corresponding action to form a noun phrase:

He fell from grace -> His fall from grace.

bear_bear posted:

But I got another thing to clarify.

"The actor's fall..." . What does the Apostrophe s stand for? Isn't " The actor is / has fall ...."

No, bear_bear. As Gustavo explained, the apostrophe "s" is being used to express possession. It does not stand for anything; no contraction is involved. Compare: "John's bicycle," "Vincent's English lesson," "bear_bear's question."

I've been thinking about  what may have led you to that confusion, bear_bear, and I think it's the word "fall." In those sentences "fall" is a noun, not a verb.

In:

- The actor's falling.

"'s" stands for "is" and "falling" forms part of the verb.

In:

- The actor's fallen.

"'s" stands for "has" and "fallen" forms part of the verb.

In:

- The actor's fall

"'s" is not a contraction, as David told you, and "fall" is a noun. That phrase means "the fall of the actor."

Gustavo, Contributor posted:

I've been thinking about  what may have led you to that confusion, bear_bear, and I think it's the word "fall." In those sentences "fall" is a noun, not a verb.

I had the same realization, Gustavo. To supplement your explanation of how "fall" can be either a verb or a noun, I'd like to share with bear_bear a famous old nursery rhyme, in honor of which teddy bears have doubtless been made.

The nursery rhyme is "Humpty Dumpty" (see below). Humpty Dumpy falls off a wall, from a great height. There, "falls" is a verb. But the nursery rhyme speaks of his having "a great fall" ("fall" as a noun). We can thus speak of "Humpty's fall."

humptyhumpty2

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Gustavo, Contributor posted:

Nice. That's a character from "Alice in Wonderland," isn't it?

Indeed it is, or at least a character from the sequel to Alice in Wonderland, titled Through the Looking-Glass. Native-speaking children tend to learn the nursery rhyme on its own around the time we learn to talk. That's why it took a special intellectual effort for me to realize that someone might not understand that "fall" can be a noun as well as a verb. Humpty Dumpty's origin is fascinating (see here).

Alice

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