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Should this sentence have a possessive apostrophe at the end of it?

Unfortunately, the list below is similar to the original vendors.

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  • As written, the sentence is equivalent to 'Unfortunately, the list below and the original vendors are similar.' ie 'Unfortunately, the original vendors and the list below are similar.' The original vendors, not their list, are compared to the list referred to as 'below'. In formal writing, I'd be fuller: _Unfortunately, the list below is similar to that of the original vendors.- This, unlike the original as written correctly, doesn't take an apostrophe. Nov 19, 2022 at 15:59
  • Unfortunately, the list below is similar to the original vendor's. = Unfortunately, the list below is similar to the original vendor's list. Nov 19, 2022 at 16:04
  • Related.
    – tchrist
    Nov 19, 2022 at 19:33

2 Answers 2

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Whether the noun-phrase (NP) ends a sentence is totally irrelevant. The same rules apply in any position. So:

The list is similar to the vendors.

= The list is similar to the vendors (the vendors are similar to the list!) -- probably not what you mean.

The list is similar to the vendors'.

= The list is similar to the vendors' one (the list of the vendors), evidently what you want to say.

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  • vendor's needs to be singular possessive — apostrophe before the s. Nov 20, 2022 at 0:30
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Yes, if this is possessive, it should have an apostrophe after the last S:

Unfortunately, the list below is similar to the original vendors'.

If it is not possessive and the vendors are being compared to the list, it would stay the same as you put it in the question:

Unfortunately, the list below is similar to the original vendors.

Another way that you can articulate that you are referring to the lists is by putting "lists" later in the passage:

Unfortunately, the [one] below is similar to the original vendors' lists.

I hope this helps!

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  • vendor's needs to be singular possessive — apostrophe before the s. Nov 20, 2022 at 0:31
  • Yes, if the original poster is talking about a single vendor. I took this as they were talking about multiple vendors, not one. Nov 20, 2022 at 19:19

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