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Grammar Lesson – Singular and Plural Possessive Nouns July 25th, 2018

How do you show that a noun has ownership of something. You use apostrophes. However, apostrophes can be tricky. Sometimes they come before an s and sometimes they come after an s. But there is no need to worry because there are some easy ways to tell the difference between a singular possessive noun and a plural possessive noun.

Singular possessive nouns are easy. If a person, place or thing owns something all you have to do is add an ’s. Here are some examples:

Sandra’s dog is very cute.

The boss’s car is orange.

The jam’s ingredients are blackberry and blueberry.

Plural possessive nouns are where it can get a little tricky for both native and non-native English speakers. So what is a plural possessive noun? Plural possessive nouns show ownership when there is more than one of a noun. To show ownership where there is more than one noun you can simply add an s’ to the end of a word. Here are some examples:

The kittens’ toys are everywhere.
There is more than one kitten in this instance.

All of the books’ pages are ruined.
There is more than one book in this instance.

There is one exception to this rule. If a plural noun does not end in an s then you would simply add an ’s. For example, since the plural noun women does not end in an s you would add an ’s to show possession.

The women’s shoes are very expensive.

If you remember these few simple rules then you will have no problem mastering singular and plural possessive nouns!

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