Possessive nouns are used to indicate ownership.
Possessive nouns usually are formed by adding an apostrophe (‘) and s.
- John’s book
- Kerry’s car
- Grandma’s mirror
When a noun is plural and ends in s, just add an apostrophe (‘).
- The kids’ toys
- My parents’ house
- The teachers’ lounge
If two people own one thing, add the apostrophe and s to the second person only.
- John and Mary’s new house
- David and Sue’s wedding
- Tom and Doug’s car
If two people own separate things, add the apostrophe and s for each person.
- Susan’s and Beth’s books
- Jean’s and Dan’s pants
- Ben’s and Jim’s offices
Add ‘s to singular words to show possession.
|Dog’s collar||sister’s backpack||car’s engine|
|(dog + ‘s)||(sister + ‘s)||(car + ‘s)|
If a singular word ends in s, it is still necessary to add ‘s.
|Charles’s sneakers||Bess’s dresses||bus’s tires|
|(Charles + ‘s)||(Bess + ‘s)||(bus + ‘s)|
If you have added an s to make a word plural (for example, cat ⇒ cats), adding ‘s will sound ridiculous (cats’s). In that case, add only the apostrophe to the end of the word.
|Dogs’ collars||sisters’ backpacks||cars’ engines|
|(dogs + ‘)||(sisters + ‘)||(cars + ‘)|
Just like singular possessives, plural possessives that don’t end in s add ‘s.
|Children’s homework||fish’s bowls||octopi’s tentacles|
|(children + ‘s)||(fish + ‘s)||(octopi + ‘s)|
Both 2 and 3 are the correct answers. In your writing, you should be consistent. If you choose to leave the final ‘s’ out, then leave it out throughout your writing.