S’ or S’S –How To Form The Possessive Of Nouns Using The Apostrophe?

Are you uncertain about how to use the apostrophe to show possession? You also want to know when to use s’ or s’s in possessive form, don’t you? If that’s the case, don’t miss our today’s article as right now we’ll remind you of the rules of how to form the possessive of nouns using the apostrophe.



Apostrophe (‘) is a very common punctuation that we often use when writing the English language, especially when we want to form the possessive of nouns. Well, with the use of showing possession, the apostrophe indicates “belonging to” or “ownership” or “of”. For example, “the boy’s shoes” means “the shoes of the boy” or “the shoes belonging to the boy.”

But the problem here is that if the nouns endin-s like the boys, the girls, friends, then how do their possessive formslook like? Is it s’ or s’s? Is “the boys’s games” or “the boys’ games” grammatically correct? Should it be “My close friends’sletters” or “my close friends’ letters?”… In your opinion, which one is the right way to use the apostrophe to make the possessives in these cases?

Well, if you are not sure about the answer to this question or feel confused when it comes to using an apostrophe for possession, don’t be worried! Why? Because right below here, we are about to remind you of some important rules of forming the possessive case of nouns using the apostrophe, including s’ or s’s grammar rule. Let’s check them out right now and after that, you yourself will know whether “‘s” or “s’s” is the right possessive form of nouns ending in-s.

How to form the possessive of a noun in English?

In general, the rules of forming the possessive of nouns using apostrophe are quite easy to remember and simple to apply. So whenever you determine that you need to make a possessive in your sentence, everything you have to do is to follow the rules below here to create one.

Rule 1: Add 's to the singular noun (even if it ends in -s):

  • The owner's car
  • Boss’s car
  • Class’s teacher
  • James's hat (James' hat is also acceptable)

Note: For proper noun that is plural, you just need to addan apostrophe after the “s” to make the possessive. For instance: "The Eggleses' presentation was good."

Rule 2: Add 's to the plurals that do not end in -s:

  • The children's game
  • The geese's honking
  • The men’s phones

Rule 3: Just add ' (apostrophe) to the end of plural nouns that end in -s:

  • Three cats' toys
  • Two friends' letters
  • The countries' landscapes

Rule 4: Add 's to the end of compound words:

  • My mother-in-law's recipe is so good.

Rule 5: Add 's to the last word to show joint possession of an object:

  • Todd and Anne's apartment
  • Annie and Mary’s mother

These are all 5 basic rules of forming the possessive of singular nouns, plural nouns, proper nouns, and nouns ending in -s that you need to keep in mind. Let’s move on to the next part of this writing to make clear if it has to be s’ or s’s in the possessive form.

S’ or s’s rulefor words ending in -s

To know whether the possessive of nouns ending in -s should be s’ or s’s form, we need to divide the nouns into 2 types, one is proper nouns and one is the regular plural nouns.

• Possessive proper nouns ending in -s

Back to the rule 1 above, we know that in order to create the possessive of a singular proper noun, we can add either ‘s or just ‘ (apostrophe) to the end of the word. But, if it’s a plural proper noun, adding an apostrophe right after the “s” is enough to show possession.

• Possessive plural nouns ending in -s

Well, you need to apply rule 3 in this case. So, in order to make a possessive of plural noun ending in s, what you need to do is just add an apostrophe (‘) right after the “s”. For example: the cars’ colors.

Note: There are plural nouns that do not end in -s such as people, children, men, and so on. For these irregular plural nouns, you still need to add ‘s to make the possessives

In a nutshell, if you want to make the right possessive form of a noun ending in -s, the first step is always to determine what type of the word is – singular proper noun or plural noun. Depending on the type of word, you will know if it must be s’ or s’s.

Wrap up

Recently, we have provided you with some very important rules of forming the possessive of nouns using the apostrophe. Thanks to these rules, we’ve together answered the question of how to create the possessive of nouns ending in -s. Now, you clearly know if it should be s’ or s’s, right?

In the end, we really hope that you have gained useful and practical knowledge of English language through this writing. Don’t forget to like and share this post if you find it helpful and interesting. Thanks you a lot for reading our today’s article!

Minor keywords: s’ or s’s rule,s’ or s’s grammar, apostrophe for possession, apostrophe to show possession

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