Tuesday’s Tips: Possessives

When we want to express that something belongs to, or is associated with, something else, we use an apostrophe followed by the letter “s” to express that. For example:

The cat’s toy

America’s future

Note that the nouns doing the possessing above are both singular. When we make the noun plural by adding “s,” or if the noun itself already ends in “s,” then the apostrophe goes after the “s.” For example:

All the cats’ toys (plural cats)

Several nations’ currencies (plural nations)

The mess’ origin (singular mess ends in “s”)

The brass’ patina (singular brass ends in “s”)

Do not use an apostrophe when you are only making a noun plural, not possessive; just add “s” (or “es” if the noun already ends in “s”):

I have three cousins.

They make messes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s