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Can I say "These are birds' eggs."? 1 If I see some buffalo horns, so can I say "These are buffalos' horns."? 2 If I see some bird eggs, so can I say "These are birds' eggs."? 3 If I see some elephant tusks, so can I say "These are elephants' tusks."? 4 If I see some bird claws, so can I say "These are birds' claws."? 5 Or I only use "buffalos' horns, birds' eggs, elephants' tusks, birds' claws" when I say about them in general and there is no picture of them? Ex : I like birds' eggs. Buffalos' horns are very dangerous. Elephants' tusks are pointed. Birds' claws are sharp. Thank you for your help!
Sep 9, 2019 6:40 AM
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Answers · 12
Books like English Grammar in Use by Murphy or the more advanced Practical English Usage by Swan certainly have short clear explanations for this topic. In my experience, the possessive is used when referring to an actual animal, as in "that buffalo's horn is scarred."
September 9, 2019
We actually use the terms: Buffalo horn. Bird Eggs Elephant tusks Bird claws. They are compound nouns - we don't therefor use the possessive case. And you say 'I like duck eggs' etc - of course.
September 9, 2019
The answer is yes, you can say any of these sentences. Native speakers will sometimes say "birds' eggs" or "buffalo's horns" just as you've done. It's perfectly correct. Karen is right, though, that in /most/ cases, we prefer to use compound nouns like "bird eggs" or "buffalo horns," rather than the possessive.
September 9, 2019
Yes you can. There is no restriction to only speaking generally
September 9, 2019
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English, Vietnamese
Learning Language
English