In the following (poorly written?) sentence:

You improve your co-worker's luck and your business's.

I want to say that the luck of your business will also be improved... How do I say this? By putting an apostrophe after "business"? I'm trying not to repeat "luck".

  • The possessive form of business is business’s. You cannot just put a lone apostrophe there, because that is not how it is pronounced.
    – tchrist
    May 4, 2013 at 19:32
  • @tchrist: Edited my question. The thing is: if I had used "business's" would the sentence be correct? May 4, 2013 at 20:20
  • Sure, it would have been fine.
    – tchrist
    May 4, 2013 at 20:27

1 Answer 1


In speech, I think I would say and your business's, pronounced -nisiz. In writing, I would change it to and that of your business.

  • Why business's and not business' ? Is it because business is an irregular word? May 4, 2013 at 21:31
  • 1
    @JohnAssymptoth No, it is completely regular. It’s because business’s is pronounced with an extra syllable compared with business alone. I don’t understand why this spelling mistake is so common. You only use a single apostrophe when there is no change in pronunciation when forming the possessive, like with this species’ strategy or those farmers’ fields. That’s why it is the class’s president, or perhaps just the class president, but never the *class’ president, which makes no sense.
    – tchrist
    May 5, 2013 at 3:50
  • @tchrist: I agree that this is the best rule and that it is often recommended by style books; but I think some people use or have used to use other rules as well. May 5, 2013 at 15:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.