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General Writing and Grammar Help/joint vs. separate possession

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Question
Hi Mr. Johnson,  

Just a quick question... what is the proper way to write:  

Lauren's and Jonathan's Wedding -OR-

Lauren and Jonathan's Wedding?  

Thanking you in advance.

Maria

Answer
A. Lauren's and Jonathan's Wedding -OR-

B. Lauren and Jonathan's Wedding?  


My guess is that Lauren is marrying Jonathan. If so, this is what can be termed a "joint possession," in that there is just one wedding for both. With "joint possession," the possessors (Lauren and Jonathan here) are considered a single unit, and only the second takes the possessive form. So B is correct.

If they were two different weddings--one for Lauren and another for Jonathan--one would say Lauren's and Jonathan's Weddings.  

General Writing and Grammar Help

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Richard Johnson

Expertise

I can answer any question--usually the same day--on correct English grammar, usage, and (non-fiction) writing style, usually the same day, based on the American practice. All answers are explained, and I encourage follow-up.

Experience

I'm a retired editor and a lifelong student of this subject. My library includes a great many works to which I've referred through the years. I currently rely primarily on the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.

Publications
For over 30 years I edited the newsletter of my own organization, which had different names but was last known as NotBarter.com.

Education/Credentials
BA, Brooklyn College. Advanced studies in economics and political science.

Awards and Honors
For many years a member of Mensa.

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