"The Best Punctuation Book, Period," by June Casagrande, says that, when forming the possessive of text in quotation marks, we do this:

“Casablanca” ’s best scene

I love it!

The ending double quotation marks are followed by a thin space; then the single possessive apostrophe is placed before the "s" — exactly as shown above.

This is strictly opinion based upon the mechanics (and logic) of punctuation.

My question is: If the possessive title in quotes ends in an "s," how would we punctuate it?

In Set 1 below, the ending double quote marks are followed by a thin space, then the single possessive apostrophe.

Set 1

“The Sopranos” ’ cast...

“Game of Thrones” ’ success...

“Field of Dreams” ’ box-office success

In Set 2 below, the single possessive apostrophe comes directly after the ending "s" (in each example) followed by a thin space and the ending double quote marks.

Set 2

“The Sopranos’ ” cast...

“Game of Thrones’ ” success...

“Field of Dreams’ ” box-office success

Is Set 1 or Set 2 technically correct with regard to the placement of the ending quote marks? 

  • 1
    “Casablanca” ’s best scene That really does not work for me - I fail to see why Casablanca needs quotes. And the space before the apostrophe hurts my eyes.
    – Greybeard
    Jul 31, 2020 at 23:48

1 Answer 1


No style guide has shown how to write the possessive of a quoted title.

Therefore, you have three options.

Option 1: Recast

Instead of using possessive apostrophes, just write:

The cast of "The Sopranos"

Option 2: Italicize

Instead of quoting the names, just italicize them (even though it may not align with style guides):

The Sopranos's cast

Note: "The Sopranos" is singular, not plural. Therefore you add an apostrophe + "s" to make it plural.

Option 3: Improvise

It isn't in the style guides, so you can do whatever you want! Do whatever is the most logical to you.

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