Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Grammatically Yours – Apostrophes: Plural Nouns and Other Weirdness (2/3)

In the first part of this series, we discussed how apostrophes are used with singular nouns and indefinite pronouns. Today, we are going to jump into plural nouns, compound words, and two or more nouns.

Plural Nouns

For plural nouns not ending in –s, write the appropriate plural spelling of the word then add an apostrophe and –s to form the possessive.

Examples:

men’s clothing
children’s backpacks
people’s decision

For plural nouns that do end in –s, write the plural spelling of the word then add an apostrophe.

Examples:

girls’ shoes
clowns’ tricks
horses’ pasture

>>Note: Do not use apostrophes to form plural nouns.

Examples:

I have three books. (correct)
I have three book’s. (incorrect)
She owns two dogs. (correct)
She owns two dog’s. (incorrect)

Compound Words

When forming the possessive of compound words, make only the last word possessive.

Examples:

daughter-in-law’s house
secretary of state’s speech
in-law’s birthdays

Two or More Nouns

For words that show individual possession, each word in the group should be possessive.

Examples:

Karen’s and Tony’s ideas
Beethoven’s and Bach’s compositions
Samuel’s and Mandie’s papers

For words that show joint possession, only the last word in the group should be possessive.

Examples:

Joe and Sarah’s car
Mary and Adam’s store
Cindy and Allison’s presentation

>>Exception: Make the first word possessive if the second word is a possessive pronoun.

Example:

Lori’s and my grandmother

I will be posting the final part of the apostrophe series on Friday! Please, feel free to leave any questions or comments below.

Happy Wednesday!

~~~~~

Schedule:

8/1 – Apostrophes: Plural Nouns and Other Weirdness <you are here>

2 comments:

  1. This was super helpful! I always get tripped up with two or more nouns.

    ReplyDelete