I'm compiling a word list with accurate pronunciations and am hitting a brick wall. What are the proper American pronunciations of the following plural possessives, and by extension, similar words?

boys' caterpillars' classes' companies'

I have done extensive research on the online dictionaries (Cambridge, Oxford, Merriam Webster) and none provide the pronunciations for the plurals of the words I am including in our educational software. The four hardcover dictionaries I possess, also do not provide the pronunciations for the plurals.

This is not a good fit for ELL, because I am not learning the English language (See my bio). I am trying to determine the non-colloquial pronunciation for a group of words that are not well documented in dictionaries. According to the FAQ this is fit for this site, not ELL.

closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, sumelic, Mari-Lou A, FumbleFingers, Julie Carter Sep 11 '15 at 10:04

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  • 1
    Hello, Annie. This would be a good fit on our sister site, ELL. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 9 '15 at 23:08
  • Sorry English SE, but one has to wonder - as none of the dictionaries LIST the pronunciations for plurals, and this is rather hard to find (if anyone tries), there isn't much "research" to do, and this is a perfectly good question. Besides that, your own FAQ says that pronunciation questions are legitimate. Third, if (english.stackexchange.com/q/78476/138131) is elementary yet okay, why isn't this? More explanation is needed as to "why"...I know Annie, and I think you just lost a member with a LOT of English experience b/c of this...she is NOT an ELL. – JasonMc92 Sep 20 '15 at 17:18
  • The arrogant and close-minded attitude that I have been greeted with by certain members regarding this question is enough to drive off any professional. A more caring, insightful attitude would improve community relations. – user138128 Sep 21 '15 at 17:42

The plural possessive has the same pronunciation as the plural.

  • boys’ /bɔɪz/
  • caterpillars’ /ˈkæɾɚˌpɪlɚz/
  • classes’ /ˈklæsəz/
  • companies’ /ˈkʌmpəniz/

Like the plural, if a word ends in an /s/ or /z/ sound, the possessive suffix is read /ɪz/, e.g., princesses and princess’(s).