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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 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.


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.

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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