The possessive form (the car of Jesus) would be Jesus' car.

If we say Jesus is 11. Would it also be Jesus' 11? Jesus's 11?

  • 1
    Since the contraction of is has the exact same sound as the noun plural, noun possessive, and 3SgPres verb inflection (/-əz/ after sibilants, /-s/ after voiceless consonants, /-z/ elsewhere), it's hard to tell the difference. If Jesus is pronounced as in English /'dʒizəz/, it wouldn't be contracted with is. If it's pronounced as in Spanish /he'sus/, as a normal name, it would get a normal /-əz/ suffix. That's the only way I could make sense out of the sentence Jesus is 11. – John Lawler Sep 22 '14 at 20:24
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    Your possessive is incorrect, although a common error. We only omit the s if the word ends in s because it's a plural. – Barmar Sep 22 '14 at 20:25
  • AFAIK, there's no similar rule about contractions for words ending in s. – Barmar Sep 22 '14 at 20:26
  • @Barmar Not so. There are plenty of writers (and style guides) who use only an apostrophe to indicate possessives of proper nouns ending in s. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 22 '14 at 20:45
  • I guess it's changed since I learned the rule when I was growing up. – Barmar Sep 22 '14 at 20:55

In general. people avoid forming a contraction with a word ending in S and the verb "is".

Of all the diet and fitness "experts", Richard Simmmons's probably the one I like least. It's not only strange-looking, it's a whole mouthful of mumbles when one tries to say it aloud.

It falls into the same category as contracting "am not" as "ain't". It isn't advisable.

  • +2 for 'a whole mouthful of mumbles' which I'd perversely and satirically rephrase as 'mumbles's a mouthful' ;-P – Howard Pautz Sep 22 '14 at 23:42

I think the problem is using proper names in a contraction---what is the rule? For instance, "America's got Talent" is ok, because the apostrophe subs for the letters "ha" in has got Talent. But what about "Travis' got Talent?" That should be wrong because the apostrophe would be substituting for the entire word, "has". So it should be Travis's Got Talent, the apostrophe therefore subbing for "ha" like in America's GOt Talent. Unless they are both wrong....

protected by tchrist Jun 26 '17 at 22:58

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