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I want to say parking of McDonald's, i.e. using an apostrophe S. Would I say McDonald's's parking?

marked as duplicate by Laurel, sumelic, Cascabel, choster, Mari-Lou A May 1 '17 at 19:38

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  • 4
    What’s a parking? – tchrist Jul 22 '14 at 4:44
  • 1
    No English possessive can have two instances of apostrophe-s to indicate possession. There is no double possession in English. – tchrist Jul 22 '14 at 4:59
  • 1
    @tchrist: FWIW, a parking in French is a parking lot in AmEn and a car park in BrEn. – Drew Jul 22 '14 at 5:20
  • @tchrist In Britain people do sometimes refer to a car park as 'the parking'. The French say 'le parking' but that's clearly not English, so perhaps irrelevant. – WS2 Jul 22 '14 at 5:31
  • Please explain with more context what you want to say. – curiousdannii Jul 22 '14 at 5:56


It's best to avoid such constructs entirely, and (as this site and others recommend) create the possessive with a prepositional phrase like the parking at McDonald's.

  • +1 For focussing on the question asked and not mistakenly trying to correct "parking" into "parking lot" or "car park". – Rupe Jul 22 '14 at 10:09

The important thing is that the institution concerned displays its name as McDonald's. So before considering such as 'the parking', the employees or the lavatories, it is worth noting that it is already in possessive form. And it is a singular possessive.

What is being possessed at this point is clearly just the establishment itself. And since it is a singular possessive one would technically be correct therefore if, let's say in writing them a cheque, to name the payee simply as McDonald. Though whether the bank paid against it is another matter. The staff might insist you wrote an apostrophe-s. (All that is based on the ridiculous assumption that they took payment by cheque).

So if one is referring to something at McDonald's, I would simply write 'McDonald's blissful ambiance' or to answer your question 'McDonald's parking'.

I know it is hard but one must start thinking of McDonald as a chap (or chappess)! Because they write the name as if there was only one of him or her.

  • 1
    Presumably there was a chap at some point; but the name of the restaurant, whether a possessive or not, is McDonald’s, not McDonald. Writing out a cheque to McDonald would not be writing out a cheque to the company any more than writing one out to Forbe or Collin would work for Forbes or Collins. McDonald’s ambience is not a possessive of the company name, it's just the company name itself. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 22 '14 at 7:11
  • @JanusBahsJacquet This not only apply to McDonald's. Sainsbury's writes its name the same way. Yet there have been several generations of the Sainsbury family involved in the business. Therefore, pardon the pun, these are clearly grocers' apostrophes. Indeed they are either single-person apostrophes, grocers' apostrophes, or the inverted comma is simply a part of the name. If it is the last then the OP's idea of a second apostrophe seems to me to gain some credence. If they are grocers' apostrophes then perhaps we should correct them and speak of McDonalds' car park, and Sainsburys' coffee. – WS2 Jul 22 '14 at 16:18
  • I would certainly not think of them as grocers’ apostrophes—they are in origin (Mr.) Sainsbury’s store and (Mr.) McDonald’s restaurant, one assumes. In origin. Nowadays, when the store/restaurant has become a corporation, the inverted comma is indeed an inherent part of the name, which is why I consider the double apostrophe technically correct, though an ungainly horror to the eyes. Rephrasing as Erik and Gnawme suggest is the only acceptable way out of the mire for me. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 22 '14 at 16:21
  • @Janus The former Waterstone's, when it became Waterstones, made life easier for everyone. We can now say Waterstones' staff are exemplary. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 22 '14 at 23:09

I would use the following type of construction:

I left the car in the McDonald's car park/parking lot.


For formal correctness, I think I'd go with "McDonald's' parking lot", using the alternate form of possessive for words ending in S which just adds an apostrophe and changes the sound minimally if at all.

Though realistically, if I was writing this I'd probably go with the incorrect-but-more-readable solution of "McDonalds' parking lot".

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