Comments about the English forum

Use of the possessive

You said in my correction that when there is "the" before Delavigne, it's not grammatically correct to say "the Delavigne's staff" .and after when you explain the noun "staff" ,your example is: " The President's staff helps her run the country" ...I don't understand! What is correct, please?


  • Hi. Native English speaker here. Wow. This is tough. I will try to explain.

    It is not correct to say “the Delavigne’s staff”. This is a person’s name. When you are referring to staff or group of employee’s that has the possessive of a person, don’t use “the” in front of it.

    Example , Jane’s staff consists of two men and two women.

    Another example .... Bill’s staff is very small.

    You would not say The Jane’s staff .... OR The Bill’s staff ....

    HOWEVER, when you use a NOUN like “president”, you would say “the president’s staff”.

    Another example using the noun , “football coach” .... THE football coach’s staff worked on the top floor of the school.

    Hope this helps!
  • If Delavigne is a forename or surname and you are referring to only one person, then you don't use "the", If on the other hand Delavigne is a surname and you mean to reference the whole family, you'd say "the Delavignes", - so "the Delavigne's staff" would be the staff of the family Delavigne.

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