Would it be right to write "Brazilian's army's ammo supply is low."? Two consecutive apostrophes looks weird.

  • 5
    Do you mean Brazil's army's...? Nov 20, 2015 at 10:50
  • 1
    You don’t have two consecutive apostrophes (well, acute accents) in your question. You have two consecutive possessives (or more specifically: one possessive embedded in another). This is perfectly fine—no different to multiple de’s in Portuguese (“Os suprimentos de munição da força policial do capital do Brasil”, for example). Consecutive apostrophes (like the army’’s) would always be wrong, though, unless you have a word that ends in an apostrophe. Nov 20, 2015 at 13:27
  • Also see Two possessive nouns in a row.
    – choster
    Nov 20, 2015 at 15:21
  • You may be interested in computer science's law of demeter. It basically states that it is confusing, error prone, and in some cases dangerous for an object to talk to another object using a middle man. It instead should clearly ask the middle man for the requested behavior and let it separately ask the original target.
    – corsiKa
    Nov 20, 2015 at 20:41

2 Answers 2


It would depend on what you meant. If you mean the Brazilian army was short of ammunition, then you would write the Brazilian Army's ammo supply is low.

But if you were referring to an army that is not the Brazilian army, but instead owned or run by a particular Brazilian (perhaps an army of toy soldiers, or an army of mercenaries), then the Brazilian's Army's ammo supply would be correct.

  • 3
    Wouldn't the second case have "army" non-capitalised though?
    – March Ho
    Nov 20, 2015 at 11:08
  • 16
    @MarchHo, probably it should be; I'm not sure. If I owned an army of mercenaries, i'd be tempted to capitalise it. Nov 20, 2015 at 11:13
  • 2
    @BrianHooper that's a bit of an overreaction to the possibility of attack by pedants, I think. ;-)
    – Dan
    Nov 20, 2015 at 18:08
  • 1
    Another valid case would be if the Brazilian was a member of the regular Brazilian army, but perhaps he was unnamed in the context. In that case you could say "the Brazilian's army's ammo...," but I think there would definitely be no capitalisation on "army."
    – Echelon
    Nov 20, 2015 at 19:48

To be honest there are cases when it's perfectly acceptable to have "dual 's"

For Example: "Bob's army's Supply was lower then normal after the storm."

That said, it's probably best to avoid it. Specially when listing a "general" term.

For Example: "The Brazilian's army's Supply was lower then normal after the storm."

Both cases are "correct" but they both read very odd. It would be better to rewrite the sentences so that you could avoid the oddness.

Example: "Bob's army found its supplies lowered after the storm."
Example: "The Brazilian's army found its supplies lowered after the storm."

Those read much better, and removes the ambiguity in your original sentence.

Example: Brazilian's army's ammo supply is low.
Becomes: The ammo supply of the Brazilian's army was low.

  • 1
    It must be "its" in "The Brazilian's army found it's supplies lowered after the storm."
    – Residuum
    Nov 20, 2015 at 14:55
  • @Residuum: You missed a few other errors. Nov 20, 2015 at 17:55
  • Edit away, no harm in editing
    – coteyr
    Nov 20, 2015 at 18:05
  • Can't edit because it's too few chars, but I think you mean "than", not "then".
    – Echelon
    Nov 20, 2015 at 19:44

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