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Hi, everyone.

Could you tell me whether the apostrophe is correctly used in the sentence below:

Modality is about a speaker’s or a writer’s attitude towards the world.

I can't explain it in a grammatical way but I think that the word speaker shouldn't carry the apostrophe. Am I right?

I found the sentence in the link below:

https://dictionary.cambridge.o...l-verbs-and-modality

Thank you.

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@gilbert posted:

Hi, everyone.

Could you tell me whether the apostrophe is correctly used in the sentence below:

Modality is about a speaker’s or a writer’s attitude towards the world.

I can't explain it in a grammatical way but I think that the word speaker shouldn't carry the apostrophe. Am I right?

Hi, Gilbert—Actually, the sentence is correct as written. There is noun-phrase ellipsis after the first possessive. The sentence means "Modality is about a speaker's [attitude towards the world] or a writer's attitude towards the world."

Hi, David and thanks for your response. Your explanation makes a lot of sense.

Hmm...English can be so confusing sometimes!

I remember learning that if there were two names in a sentence and if they were co-possessors of something, only the second name would carry the 's, like so:  [That's John and Mary's restaurant.]

How is this different from Modality is about a speaker’s or a writer’s attitude towards the world?

Please help clear my confusion, David.

Many thanks for your help.

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