Apostrophe + “s” – when do we use it?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp

It’s Thursday already! The week has flown by so fast. This week, I’m writing about using the apostrophe with “s” because we received a question about this through email.

There are many rules for using the apostrophe but I’m just going to focus on its use in showing possession (when something belongs to someone/something).

1. Use the apostrophe to show that something belongs to someone/something. To show possession with a singular noun, add an apostrophe plus the letter “s”.

a woman’s dress
rs. Tan’s house

When the noun ends with an “s” (common nouns such as boss, or proper nouns such as Firdaus), there are conflicting rules on whether to put an apostrophe with “s” or not. For this, I would usually just put an apostrophe.

the boss’ wife
Firdaus’ phone

2. Do not use the apostrophe when you’re changing the noun from singular to plural (more than one)! Just add “s” or “ies” or “es” after the noun.

Incorrect: There are many reason’s why this happened.
Correct: There are many reasons why this happened.

Incorrect:  The children love listening to bedtime story’s.
Correct: The children love listening to bedtime stories.

Incorrect: All the actress’s were ready for the performance.
Correct: All the actresses were ready for the performance. (more than one actress)

I hope this helps to clear up any confusion you have with using the apostrophe! Let us know if you’d like us to write about anything else here on the blog.

We’ll talk to you again soon.

Do you want to speak English with confidence?

Sign up to join our free video training, Speaking with Confidence. We’ll send you seven tips to your email address!

Here’s Tip 1 for a sneak peek of what’s in store for you.

Hi there!

We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

You may have seen us on: