The Genitive Case

To put it very broadly indeed, the genitive modifies or limits a word (usually a noun) by associating it with something. For example, in the phrase þæs cyninges sweord "the king's sword," the sense of sweord is modified by our saying that it belongs to the king: we're not speaking of just any sword. In this respect, a word in the genitive case is like an adjective, limiting the reference of the word it is associated with.

Most genitives fall into one of three categories:

A few prepositions (andlang, innan, to, toforan, utan, wiþ) sometimes have objects in the genitive case, and some verbs govern genitive words. Genitive constructions may also be used adverbially, especially in expressions of time.