Questions relating to the use of the apostrophe (’).

learn more… | top users | synonyms

57
votes
2answers
50k views

What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in “‑s”?

What is the possessive of a noun ending in ‑s? Are these both right, or is the second one wrong? the boys' books the boss' car
76
votes
6answers
54k views

“My wife and I's seafood collaboration dinner”

I just stumbled upon a Reddit post titled: My wife and I's seafood collaboration dinner. How does it look? Sure enough, the top comment immediately points out that it should be "my wife's and ...
46
votes
6answers
10k views

When did it become correct to add an “s” to a singular possessive already ending in “‑s”?

According to my grammar book, but at variance to the answer to this question, the correct singular possessive if a word ends in ‑s is: James’s car The grammar book allows exceptions for ...
7
votes
5answers
19k views

User’s Guide vs Users’ Guide

I’ve been looking over what has been posted regarding the use of ’s. I used to be a Technical Writer (years ago). The title of one of our training documents was Users’ Guide. Once, a coworker said ...
51
votes
8answers
65k views

Plurals of acronyms, letters, numbers — use an apostrophe or not?

When I was in high school back in the 1970s, I was taught that to make a plural of an acronym, a letter, or a number, one should add an apostrophe and "s". Like I would have written this sentence, ...
9
votes
2answers
871 views

“Nikki's and Alice's X” vs. “Nikki and Alice's X”

Which option is grammatical? There will be readings from Nikki Giovanni’s and Alice Walker’s writings. There will be readings from Nikki Giovanni and Alice Walker's writings. Saying it ...
17
votes
5answers
13k views

Apostrophe-“s” vs “of ”

I gave a quick answer to part of this question which had not been covered by previous answers, trying to clarify the reason you would say time of decoding but not decoding’s time. I said it was ’s ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

Possessive of a word that is already possessive

If the cricket ground Lord's is a possessive, what if you want to describe something belonging to Lord's? Would you say "I was very impressed by Lord's's customer services"? It doesn't look right, ...
12
votes
4answers
16k views

What is the pronunciation of the possessive words that already end in s? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When did it become correct to add an ‘s’ to a singular possessive already ending in ‘s’? Which singular names ending in “s” form possessives with only a bare apostrophe? ...
10
votes
2answers
6k views

Preferred way to apostrophise in case of dual or multiple ownership by distinct entities [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Nikki's and Alice's X” vs. “Nikki and Alice's X” Consider describing the wedding of X and Y. If I want to avoid the overly-formal ...
15
votes
3answers
4k views

Apostrophe in “beginners guide”

In the phrase beginners guide to …, where should the apostrophe go? Beginner’s Guide to […] Beginners’ Guide to […] In my particular case, this is the title for a presentation so there are ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Why did they spell it “URL’s”?

I was reading this documentation file of some software and note the plural spelling of this abbreviation is “URL’s”. Why isn’t it “URLs”?
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Is “ ’s ” ever correct for pluralization?

A relatively modern dictionary (I don’t know which one, because we’ve cut out the pages and used them as wallpaper in our bathroom, but I know it’s less than 20 years old) indicates that R’s is one ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

User’s/Users’/Users Group [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “User's guide” vs. “users' guide” If referring to a Users Group (meaning a group made up of multiple individual users who have some ...
23
votes
2answers
141k views

Is there an apostrophe in a master's degree?

The question asks it all really. When referring to a master's degree, do you use an apostrophe or not? That is, is it "a master's" or "a masters"?
24
votes
5answers
76k views

“Do's” and “don'ts” or “do's” and “don't's”?

I am making a list to my children telling them what are some of the things they should do and shouldn't. Under one side is "do", and the other is "don't". Would I write "do's" and "don't's"? Cause ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is there a distinction between “its” and “it's”?

While I know technically the English language has a distinction because when there's a conflict between the possessive form and a contraction, the contraction wins. That is: Its is the possessive ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it common for place names to lose their possessive apostrophe?

On a road trip, my wife and I drove by Kings Dominion. We debated whether this should in actuality be King’s Dominion. It seemed that it ought to be possessive, or possibly plural possessive. Upon ...
11
votes
5answers
25k views

What is the possessive of “you guys”?

Most people seem to stumble over this. The problem can arise with any multi-word phrase that needs a possessive but ends in S, and so sounds awkward using the clitic apostrophe-S. I've heard this ...
7
votes
1answer
642 views

Achilles heel and Achilles tendon

Studying possessive apostrophes I have searched on ELU the questions correlated to this matter. I have found the following: «What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s?» and ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Origins of possessive pronouns

If apostrophe + s is the acceptable way of denoting a genitive in English, is it possible that possessive pronouns, such as hers, ours and yours, started life as possessive adjectives with apostrophe ...
8
votes
3answers
18k views

Where should the apostrophe go in “three days work”?

Which is correct? 1 Three day's work 2 Three days' work 3 Three days work I would probably guess (2) is right, since the work belongs to the three days ("three days of work"). But I'm ...
11
votes
3answers
833 views

Where did the practice of using apostrophes for possessive nouns but not pronouns originate?

Where did the practice of using apostrophes for possessive nouns but not pronouns originate? For example, possessive nouns (both proper and common) are written with a apostrophe before the final s: ...
6
votes
1answer
8k views

Use of the possessive apostrophe in a list

If I was to label something The Poets and Painters' Distillery do I only apply the possessive apostrophe after 'Painters' as in the text written above, or do I also need to apply one to ...
6
votes
2answers
765 views

A noun adjunct / the possessive case

Sometimes it’s possible to use either a noun adjunct or the possessive case. the shop door the shop’s door However, in certain phrases it’s not OK to do so. the ship’s crew (the ship crew ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

How do I pronounce “s's” and “s'”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? Pronouncing possessive words that already end in s How do I pronounce possessives that end with the awkward ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What rules determine the apostrophe placement in “ham 'n eggs” and similar expressions?

In expressions such as "ham 'n eggs", the conjunction 'n appears to replace and, yet there is only one apostrophe to indicate the missing a and none for the missing d (i.e., no "ham 'n' eggs"). Is ...
9
votes
3answers
11k views

Is “what’s” a correct short form of “what does”?

E.g. “What’s he think?” Usually ’s is short for “is” so I don’t know.
6
votes
4answers
791 views

Usage of apostrophe in “baker’s dozen”

In the phrase “baker’s dozen”, why does the apostrophe indicate possession of a (single) baker? Shouldn't it indicate possession of all bakers in general? Shouldn’t it be “bakers’ dozen”?
6
votes
4answers
4k views

How to indicate possession when using abbreviation “Dr.”

I often run into a case where I need to say I have a doctor's appointment, but how would I properly punctuate it if I wanted to use the abbreviation Dr. instead of the word doctor? Dr.'s appointment ...
5
votes
5answers
15k views

What’s the correct plural possessive of “kids”?

I know that children’s books is correct, but for some reason I want to say kids books, even though I know that it’s a plural possessive noun ending in an s. A quick search on the web turns up Barnes ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Plural name apostrophe position

At my English lesson the native English speaker couldn’t tell what is correct and promised to search it for us! He told us that if James is one person then we should write James' Book but if ...
1
vote
1answer
870 views

Pronunciation of the apostrophe

Is there a rule regarding the pronunciation (or lack of) of the apostrophe? I have seen this on tv: "Enchantress' wrath" pronounced as "Echantresses wrath" "Gus' schedule" pronounced as ...
1
vote
2answers
28k views

Jones's or Jones'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? When did it become correct to add an 's' to a singular possessive already ending in 's'? I've always heard that ...
0
votes
1answer
637 views

What’s the pronunciation of “ s’ ”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the pronunciation of the possessive words that already end in s? “The Weasley twins’ friend, Lee Jordan, was doing the commentary for the match.” Do ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

Do things use apostrophe for indicating possessive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is using the possessive 's correct in “the car's antenna”? If someone owns something I would say: Mom's car. But if the owner is not a person, does ...
35
votes
6answers
6k views

What does “day's” mean?

I understand what the sentence The house is a full day’s journey from here means, but I’m wondering what day’s is short for in this expression. It doesn’t match any pattern I know. A couple of ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Phrasing “An hour's rest”

I was just posting a question to the Homebrewing StackExchange, and I found myself pondering the proper way to express my sentiment. I first wrote "an hour's rest", but upon review, I deemed the ...
9
votes
4answers
915 views

What does “ 'Nation ” stand for in this context?

I was reading the novel A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. In Chapter 2, there are sentences like: “I hope there ain’t, but can’t make so ’Nation sure of that,” said the guard, in gruff ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Apostrophes in contractions: shan't, sha'n't or sha'nt?

I came across the word sha'n't when reading Winnie the Pooh the other day and it cast me into a Thoughtful Mood concerning the Appropriate Spelling of this word. This word is a contraction of "shall ...
7
votes
7answers
7k views

Apostrophes and caps in Happy Mother’s Day / Happy Mothers’ Day

So, I’m writing this as it is Mother’s (or maybe Mothers’) Day today, and I was wondering what would be a correct way to write that. Should the apostrophe come be between the r and the s, or after ...
6
votes
1answer
238 views

“Dawkins'” or “Dawkins's” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When did it become correct to add an 's' to a singular possessive already ending in 's'? I learned from school to use Dawkins', for example That is ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

standardisation of style; attributive nouns and Saxon genitives

In a recent thread, it was recommended that Academies' Trust be written as I just have done: Academies' Trust. Normal possessive apostrophe rules apply. If I accept this traditional style, I ...
2
votes
3answers
651 views

Plural of “uh-oh” and “oh-no”

Does the plural form of uh-oh and oh-no include an apostrophe? So is it "uh-oh's and oh-no's" or "uh-ohs and oh-nos"? I've seen it both ways and cannot find a definitive answer anywhere.
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Possessive Form of a Proper Noun Ending in a Plural Noun Ending in “s”?

I don't think this has yet been covered in any of the other questions on similar topics. There was one other very similar question, however, it was not specifically talking about the case where the ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do we use 's when not abbreviating is/was?

I'm not English hence I don't know how this is called in the first place (that's why the title of this question should be changed) but what I'm referring to is this "s" used in English language to ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Proper Apostrophe Usage with Initialisms: CCS' or CCS's?

I work with a company whose name is frequently reduced to an initialism (acronym). Let's say the name is "Cool Computer Systems" (CCS). I am engaged in an ongoing, bloody battle with the marketing ...
0
votes
3answers
4k views

I'm looking for the possessive of 'boss' [duplicate]

What is the possessive of boss; ie, how do you describe the son of the boss?
-1
votes
2answers
282 views

Investors assets or Investor's assets? [closed]

I am wondering about which sentence is correct? It is therefore measuring the volatility of an investors asset. or It is therefore measuring the volatility of an investor's asset.
-1
votes
1answer
9k views

Apostrophes and s’s [duplicate]

I always forget the rule about if something is possessive put 's at the end, for example "the sailor's hat". I know some people say to remember because it has a different meaning if it's plural (e.g. ...