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Should it read "The contractor shall provide details of the companies ability with regard to resources" or "The contractor shall provide details of the companys ability with regard to resources"? Is there a need for an apostrophe here?

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Partial duplicate of english.stackexchange.com/questions/2178/…. –  Cerberus Mar 1 '11 at 22:46
    
Also possible partial duplicate of english.stackexchange.com/questions/5210/… . –  Cerberus Mar 1 '11 at 22:52
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It's not clear if the question is asking about the plural of company, or the possessive of company, or asking if it's better to write companies' (possessive of companies) or _company's (possessive of company). –  kiamlaluno Mar 1 '11 at 23:25
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2 Answers

If there is one company, use company's ability. If there are many companies, use companies' ability.

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Companies' ability is correct if there are many companies working as a whole; companies' abilities is better if there are many companies with each being considered as an independent unit. (It does seem most likely from the source quote that there is only one company, though.) –  Hellion Mar 1 '11 at 22:53
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Correct:

The contractor shall provide details of the company's ability with regard to resources.

The fact that the sentence contains of is irrelevant; of is merely a preposition that governs the noun phrase [the company's ability with regard to resources]. Strip away the modifying phrase [with regard to resources] and you're left with [the company's ability].

In this case, it should be clear that this is a straightforward singular possessive, hence company's rather than any other alternative.

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