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7.58 Compounds

Figurative compounds of the sort bull’s-eye or crow’s-nest retain ’s in the plural:

  • bull’s-eyes
  • crow’s-nests
  • shepherd’s pies

When the possessive of a compound noun or a noun phrase is formed, add ’s to the last word only, unless there is a possessive relation between the words within the phrase itself:

  • someone else’s problem
  • her brother-in-law’s address


  • John’s father’s problem