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66

Your example sentences confuse two different problems. For nouns that are plural (such as "boys"), the possessive formed in writing by adding an apostrophe after the plural -s. This is pronounced the same as the plural and the singular possesive: The boys' books [boys' sounds like boys] For singular nouns that end in -s, the possessive is formed by ...


66

Short answer Yes, this argument does have a basis in linguistic fact, which is why some people do it in the first place, but that doesn't mean it must be correct in Standard English (and it isn't). Longer Answer This argument does hold water in the linguistic sense. "My wife and I" is, in fact, a phrase — a syntactic constituent. The fact that this ...


52

Since, 1810, forms like James’s (which I will call type A) have generally been more commonly used than forms like James’ (type B), according to my research using the Corpus of Historical American English (COHA). I compared a number of names ending in -s looking for possessive forms with and without a final s. Here is a graph comparing incidences of type A ...


45

The fourth example is the correct interpretation of day's, but with two things to keep in mind. First, in your conclusion you flipped the words around incorrectly*; the journey "belongs to" the day, not the other way around. You could re-write the sentence as: The house is a journey of a full day from here. Second, while the journey is "of a day," ...


40

It's called a "transferred epithet"- the possessive case is incidental, as in... I had a good night's sleep: The good sleep was mine to enjoy, but it is attributed to the night it happened. He put in a honest day's work: The quality or extent of work belonged to the doer, but it is attributed to the day.


37

I seem to remember the old askoxford.com site said either was acceptable: CDs and CD's. But now the replacement Oxford Dictionaries Online firmly suggests to avoid the apostrophe except in a few special cases: Apostrophes and plural forms The general rule is that you should not use an apostrophe to form the plurals of nouns, abbreviations, or ...


36

It should be the first: "Y'all" In contractions, apostrophes represent where letters were taken out. "Y'all" is a contraction of "you all". the "ou " was taken out, so you put an apostrophe were it used to be, giving you "y'all".


32

A' would typically be called A prime; A'' would be called A double prime and so on.


29

I think the arguments on that site are pretty weak. For one, the argument that "If you can't think of an example, there mustn't be one" is very poor. A lack of imagination does not constitute a robust argument. In addition, the writer suggests replacing the pluralising 's' with a 'z', to get over the problem of singular and plural possessives. So, he's ...


27

As the doctor also has an appointment with you, doctor's appointment is unequivocally correct in its own right. It is also by far the most common as a set phrase: Any other plural usage would be entirely subjective, but I don't feel doctors appointment would be appropriate under any circumstance.


27

It's not about a contraction "winning" over a possessive. "Its" is the possessive form of "it", like "his" is of "he", "hers" is of "she" or "their" is of "they". There is no missing apostrophe; the forms go back to a time when English was a highly inflected language. It predates modern, or even Middle, English. The possessive formed by the apostrophe+s ...


26

I can't remember which writer I got this from (William Zinsser?), but: you, as a writer, must remove from the reader's view every distraction in your writing that you can. You are taking your reader on a difficult trip, one in which you want their attention in a certain way, on a certain point, at a certain time, and nowhere else. The average human brain ...


25

The apostrophe indicates possession. Without an apostrophe you are indicating plurality. Since the point you are trying to convey is that the assumption you made yesterday is no longer valid, the apostrophe is appropriate. Yesterday's assumption is no longer valid. It's kind of like saying "The assumption of yesterday".


25

Yes, it does happen to everyone, but the remorse belongs to each person individually. "Buyer's remorse" is the remorse experienced by a buyer. So the answer is (c). Wikipedia agrees. Similarly the Corpus of Contemporary American English gives 36 examples of "buyer's remorse", but "buyer remorse" has just 1, and there are no results for either "buyers' ...


22

The correct form of the idiom is: first things first Things is plural here. You could imagine having a put before the idiom: put first things first let's put first things first you should put first things first This clarifies the plurality of things. So, her thinking is actually fact!


21

The regular way to pluralize any noun is by adding just an s; the apostrophe should only be added to plural s if the word would otherwise become unreadable or exceedingly ambiguous. A good example would be s's (the plural of the letter s: ss would look like an acronym). The word URLs would seem to be quite clear: *URL's is probably a simple error made by ...


21

In The New Fowler's Modern English Usage, the late Burchfield offered a guide to the use of possessive s and of with inanimate nouns. It is the most comprehensive and well founded stylistic advice I could find on the subject. He had worked on the Oxford English Dictionary and knew a lot about language and style. A summary: By default, inanimate nouns should ...


20

The possessive 's comes from the masculine genitive case ending on -es in Old English. This means that you could say "of [the] man" by simply sticking -es after "man". The genitive case was often used to indicate the possessor of something. In German, the genitive case is still used, and it ends on -(e)s for masculine and neuter singular words: the man = der ...


18

Because the dozen isn't the collective property of all bakers, but of a generic baker. It's the same reason it's a carpenter's square, a driver's license, or a greengrocer's apostrophe. You see both farmer's market and farmers' market because there are several farmers selling at a farmers' market, so you can also think of it as a market that collectively ...


17

I always use "master's degree". Read the following article for more details: Masters Degree or Master’s Degree? by Maeve Maddox To answer this question, I’ve consulted the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, and some university dissertation guidelines. Speaking generically, you would write master’s degree: Jack has finally earned his master’s ...


16

The answer lies in the history of how apostrophes have been used, and how this has then changed: A Brief, but not that Brief, History of the Apostrophe in English There’s a myth that the apostrophe is only used for elision. It’s a pretty useful myth, because it’s unlikely to lead you into mistakes if you are using the most popular styles today, with the ...


15

DOs & DON'Ts that would be appropriate.


15

From this Wikipedia page: It is generally acceptable to use apostrophes to show plurals of single lower-case letters, such as be sure to dot your i's and cross your t's. Some style guides would prefer to use a change of font: dot your is and cross your ts. Upper case letters need no apostrophe (I got three As in my exams) except when ...


15

The Chicago Manual of Style says: Capital letters used as words, numerals used as nouns, and abbreviations usually form the plural by adding s. To aid comprehension, lowercase letters form the plural with an apostrophe and an s. The lowercase letter exception presumably exists because omitting the apostrophe can make the sentence much harder to understand ...


14

Logic suggests that, but it's pretty ugly. No one is coercing you into using the ’s mark of the possessive, and it would be much nicer to rewrite it as: The research of Pendleton et al. (2002) implies that…


14

It would definitely, unequivocally, and undeniably be yours. Same with ours. No apostrophe needed, and if you put one in, dark things may happen. From NOAD: yours |yôrz; yoŏrz| possessive pronoun 1 used to refer to a thing or things belonging to or associated with the person or people that the speaker is addressing : the choice is yours | it's no ...


14

This site states it very well: A less-often faced decision involves the use of apostrophes where multiple owners are named. Where two or more people own one item together, place an apostrophe before an "s" only after the second-named person. For example: Incorrect: Bill's and Mary's car was a lemon, leading them to seek rescission of their ...


14

No. It is not (necessarily) a typo. The following examples are all perfectly acceptable uses (at least grammatically) of the possessive form of women. Women's rights Women's work Women's intuition Women's gossip I am unable to answer your question about whether or not Firefox is sexist.


13

The difference is in the number of users. User's guide: A guide belonging to one user. Users' guide: A guide belonging to all the users. I'd be inclined to use the first sense rather than the second sense, since the "one" user is really an abstract representation of all the users anyway.



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