Which one of these two statements is grammatically correct?
“After the election, Dan’s and Miley’s businesses went bankrupt.”
“After the election, Dan and Miley’s businesses went bankrupt.”
Before we answer the question, it was actually a trick question. Both sentences are grammatically correct depending on the context.
Possession by two people
If Dan and Miley own different businesses, “Dan’s and Miley’s” is the correct usage of possessive nouns. But if Dan and Miley share the same businesses, it should be “Dan and Miley’s”.
What if the businesses are owned by Dan and me (or any other possessive pronoun)? Then it should be “Dan’s and my businesses” regardless we share the same business or not. Or if you don’t have to explain that Dan is the other owner, simply use ‘our’.
Possession by more than two people
Let’s take it up a notch, shall we?
What if the businesses are owned by Dan, Miley, and me (or any other possessive pronoun)? The correct usage of compound possession is “Dan, Miley’s, and my business”. And if we don’t share the same businesses: “Dan’s, Miley’s, and my business”.
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