Topic: Possessive Nouns
The apostrophe ( ’ ) has three uses: contractions, plurals
The general rule for forming possessives
The general rule is that the possessive of a singular noun is
formed by adding an apostrophe and s, whether the singular
noun ends in s or not.
the lawyer’s fee
the child’s toy
the girl’s parents
Xerox’s sales manager
Tom Jones’s first album
The possessive of a plural noun is formed by adding only an
apostrophe when the noun ends in s, and by adding both
an apostrophe and s when it ends in a letter other than s.
excessive lawyers’ fees
the twins’ parents
the student teachers’ supervisor
the Smiths’ vacation house
the Joneses’ vacation house
Exceptions to the general rule
Use only an apostrophe for singular nouns that are in
the form of a plural—or have a final word in the form of
a plural—ending with an s.
Beverly Hills’ current mayor
the United States’ lingering debt problem
Cisco Systems’ CEO
the Beatles’ first album
Nouns that end in an s sound take only an apostrophe
when they are followed by sake.
for goodness’ sake
for conscience’ sake
A proper noun that is already in possessive form is left as is.
McDonald’s menu was simplified in response to COVID-19.
Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s produce quality has never seemed to
me as good as Waitrose’s.
Shared or individual possessives
Joint possession is indicated by a single apostrophe.
This course will use Robert Smith and Rebecca Green’s
Explanation: They coauthored the book.
We were at Stanley and Scarlett’s house.
Explanation: They share the house.
France’s and Italy’s domestic policies are diverging.
Chris’s and John’s houses were designed by the same architect.
Watch the video below for more clarity