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Lars has a book.
Fritz has a house.

How do I show possession using the genitive ending "s" for a proper noun that ends in an "s" or "z"?

Das ist Lars(?) Buch.
Das ist Fritz(?) Haus.

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  • 2
    I added a second example, extending the question to include "z".
    – Em1
    Apr 27, 2017 at 9:38
  • Why the close vote? This is a non-trivial question that would be answered differently in former and modern times.
    – Tom Au
    May 2, 2017 at 20:10

1 Answer 1

20

As presumed in the question the "normal" genitive-"s" would look strange (Larss Buch, Fritzs Haus). So the official rules (§ 96.1) and also rule 16 at Duden Sprachwissen say, that the genitive-"s" is omitted and an apostroph is used to show the omission:

Das ist Lars' Buch.
Das ist Fritz' Haus.

In northern Germany, there is/was the ending "-ens" used in colloquial speech for masculine names, so it would read:

Das ist Larsens Buch.
Das ist Fritzens Haus.

But this ending is very old-fashioned.

Note that the apostrophe has no correlation with the genitive-"'s" used in English. As mentioned it only denotes the omission of letters.

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    – Wrzlprmft
    Apr 27, 2017 at 17:01

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