Can a series of years be possessive? For example:

I am 1990s' child

This feels weird, but is it technically correct? And how about the following?

I am a child of the 1990s'

  • 1
    Genitive, not possessive.
    – Lawrence
    Jun 19, 2020 at 15:19
  • 1
    There should be no apostrophe in the second variant. And most Google hits on a search for "a sixties phenomenon" drop the apostrophe and use the plural attributive usage. Jun 19, 2020 at 15:22
  • @Lawrence There's a difference?
    – Mitch
    Jun 19, 2020 at 15:26
  • Yes, genitive can refer to close association that isn’t possessive.
    – Lawrence
    Jun 19, 2020 at 15:32
  • So could "I am a 90's child" be correct because it's genitive instead of possessive? Jun 19, 2020 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


I am 1990s' child (two errors)

I am a 1990's child. (the apostrophe here is not genitive, it indicates the plural)

I am a child of the 1990s' (one error)

I am a child of the 1990's (again the apostrophe indicates the plural)

  • 2
    Greengrocer's apostophe's are anathema.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 19, 2020 at 16:19
  • 1
    Apostophe's are not used for plural's. Writing 1990s is enough.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 19, 2020 at 16:42
  • 2
    It's not an abbreviation: it's a plural, and you have said so in your answer. And yes, I would use As and not A's in your sentence.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 19, 2020 at 17:52
  • 3
    In that case your answer is wrong because you explicitly say it's the plural, and it's not.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 19, 2020 at 17:56
  • 1
    I would use "lowercase As" as you suggested earlier. But this is irrelevant. Your own source contradicts your answer.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 19, 2020 at 18:01

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