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What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s?

I just took a grammar quiz in 10th grade English Honors, and one of the questions was very interesting to me.

In this certain section of the quiz, we had to insert (we couldn't take something out) either a semicolon (;), a colon (:), an apostraphe ('), a hyphen (-), or a dash (--).

The sentence in question went like this:

Jack Walls, Chris Walls, and Jackie Wallses children were very upset when they got home.

I decided to take out the 'e' and insert an apostraphe between the two S's like so

Jack Walls, Chris Walls, and Jackie Walls's children were very upset when they got home.

I knew that I was told to only insert punctuation, but I decided to take the risk anyway. After class I went to my teacher and showed her. She says she might need to make the question a freebie.

Am I right, or is the correct version this?

Jack Walls, Chris Walls, and Jackie Wallses' children were very upset when they got home.

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Mitch, Daniel, kiamlaluno, JSBձոգչ Dec 6 '11 at 15:24

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  • The first question I'd have is that these people's actual names are. Is it "Jack Walls"? "Jack Wall"? "Jackie Walls"? "Jackie Wallses"? Given that we're told that the sentence requires grammar clean-up, we have no way to know. – Jay Dec 5 '11 at 16:38
  • 1
    Assume 'Walls' as everyone's last name. – PearSquirrel Dec 5 '11 at 16:41

The last version would only be correct if the children were the offspring of someone called Jackie Wallses. Your response made sense to me.

Otherwise, either Walls' or Walls's are both in use. Wikipedia has a nice section with lots of other references, and suggests that the first is archaic. I believe it's also used a lot in poetry.

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