Disclaimer, not a native speaker or someone that excels in English, that's why I came here to ask.

When google searching for Mens cosplay googles first page recommendation is :

Men's cosplay

Then when I put in the search Womens cosplay only down the line I get :

Women's cosplay

And then when I search for Kids costumes I get another thing different, from target of all places down couple search results like this:

Kids' Halloween

My questions are : 1) which one of these is correct? 2) Is the rule same for Men/Women/Kids

From the answers received I understood this

For kids when referring to something belongs to multiple kids would be kids' cosplay

How would it be for men/women? Do I add just apostrophe at the end as in women' cosplay? Or no apostrophe?

closed as off-topic by user140086, Chenmunka, Mitch, Nathaniel, phoog Nov 10 '16 at 18:01

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  • 2
    Men and women are collective nouns and take the singular possessive form. Kids is plural and needs the plural form. – Mick Nov 10 '16 at 14:20
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    @Mick - They're all plurals: men and women just express plurality with vowel change rather than -s. – StoneyB Nov 10 '16 at 14:26
  • @tchrist I thought it had to do with grammar at the time, thanks to whoever edited the question. Knowing to which specific language part this belongs to is a kind of knowledge that I don't have as I m sure you don't have with my native language (I probably don't have it too) – ant Nov 10 '16 at 14:49
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    'Disclaimer, not a native speaker or someone that excels in English, that's why I came here to ask.' Our sister site ELL is aimed at addressing more basic questions. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 10 '16 at 15:09
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    @StoneyB is right. They are plurals, not collective nouns. Either way, you don't need to pluralise them. This means that we refer to men's trousers and women's skirts, but to kids' [kids's] trainers. – Mick Nov 10 '16 at 17:52
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you would like a foolproof rule, you can use the following:

If the non-possessive form of the word ends in an S, put the apostrophe after the S. If the non-possessive form does not end in S, put the apostrophe before the S.

  • women --> women's

    women's perception of men

  • men --> men's

    men's perception of women

  • kids --> kids'

    the three kids' parents

  • kid -->kid's

    this kid's parents

With names you have a choice. I normally advise students to use the rule above because it is never incorrect. However, if the non-possessive form of the noun is a name ending in S then you can also put an apostrophe and a second S after the name if the possessive form has an extra syllable in the pronunciation:

  • Chris' friends
  • Chris's friends
  • I found a text recently that included "righteousness's sake". I changed it to righteousness', without the final s. – Andrew Leach Nov 10 '16 at 16:26
  • @AndrewLeach For goodness’ sake yes :), given that pretty much nobody adds any extra /əz/ there. – tchrist Nov 10 '16 at 18:07

The difference is because "kids" already has an "s" before making it possessive, do the apostrophe goes after the s: kids'.

  • is Men's/Women's then incorrect? – ant Nov 10 '16 at 15:08
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    @ant No. Men's and women's are correct. In these cases, you create the possessive by adding 's. In the case of kids', because the word already ends in s, we add only an apostrophe. – phoog Nov 10 '16 at 18:03

A plural noun that ends with an "s" usually has the apostrophe go after, rather than precede the s. Kids' is a plural noun with possessive qualities. However, pronouns such as "it's" express the omission of "it" in conjunction with "is" with "its" being the possessive form. Apostrophes are really confusing, because they're used for both contractions, and possession.

  • You say plural nouns ending in -s “usually” place the apostrophe at the end of the word instead of before the existing -s. What’s the exception to “usually”? – tchrist Nov 12 '16 at 3:38
  • "People" can precede an apostrophe instead of an "s" in terms of plural vs. singular, and possessive qualities. "Children's clothes are starting to become more popular." "It's the people's fault; why blame the elections?" "Kids' fashion is gaining popularity right now." Also, the question mark precedes the closing quotation marks in Ex. What's the exception to "usually?" – Crocko Nov 14 '16 at 16:13
  • Sorry, I'm afraid I misread the comment. The "usually" was added, because of uncertainty, and a lack of confidence in my statements. Thank you for pointing it out; I'm still not so sure about plural nouns ending with "s" having the apostrophe precede the s. – Crocko Nov 14 '16 at 16:16

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