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In a conversation I was having with someone over Slack, I started to use the phrase, "one of the offers' name is...," to refer to the name of one of the offers, but it occurred to me that I'm not 100% sure where the apostrophe should go. My spur-of-the-moment cop-out was to change it to, "the name of one of the offers is...," but I'm here now to clarify for my own enrichment.

Since I am referring to an attribute of "one of the offers," I believe that means I need an apostrophe somewhere to denote possession so I can refer to that offer's name.

Since "one of the offers" is singular, my mind bristles against the assertion that the apostrophe might need to be after the s.

Since "of the offers" is a prepositional phrase that clarifies the subject, I believe that means I do not want to break it up as "one of the offer's name."

So, am I correct that it's, "one of the offers' name is...," or should it be something else?

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  • "Offers" don't generally have names.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 23:56
  • In this context, they do. I work for a software company and am currently updating some commerce software. Offers represent things for sale. Those things have names. Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 0:07
  • Then they are "items".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 0:09
  • Or maybe "Widgets!"...We could go back and forth with synonyms for "Offers" in this context, but why would we? It has nothing to do with the actual question I'm asking above. It also is most correct to call them Offers because that's the name of the object in the code I was discussing... Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 5:16
  • So if a program variable is called "QobjID20", that what you should use when describing the concept in customer documentation?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 11:51

1 Answer 1

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The main reason the sentence sounds wrong is because by using offers' you are using the plural possessive.

If there are multiple offers, and they each have a name (presumably unique), then the collection of all offers have names.

As such, you need to choose between these two phrases:

  • the offer's name
  • the offers' names

Putting that back into the longer phrase, the only correct choice can be the following:

one of the offers' names

If you use one of the, then what follows needs to be something plural. You are choosing one thing from among many things.

The only reason that this might sound odd is because offers' is pronounced identically to offer's, which can lead to confusion when saying offers' names. Nonetheless, that is the syntactically correct plural noun phrase that should follow one of the.


In an even more simplistic analysis, remove the possessive:

  • ✘ one of the name
  • ✔ one of the names

Putting the possessive back in doesn't change what the plurality of the noun should be.


If you don't like that particular construction, there are a few alternatives:

  • an offer's name
  • one offer's name
  • the name of one of the offers

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