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General Writing and Grammar Help/joint vs. separate possession


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.


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.  

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Richard Johnson


I specialize in grammar. I can however answer any question except homework questions--usually the same day--concerning English grammar, usage, or (non-fiction) writing style, on the basis of the American practice. All answers are explained, and I encourage follow-up.


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 largely on the sixteenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style supplemented, where appropriate, by Long, The New College Grammar.

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

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

Awards and Honors
For many years a member of Mensa.

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