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Possession for words ending in “s”

Do words that end in "s" still need _'s_ to show possession? David and Paige explain!  

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  • piceratops seedling style avatar for user david.espinosa.medina
    What about when something belongs to multiple individuals? For example

    Do I write Jone's, Lisa's and Graham's idea? or Jone, Lisa and Graham's idea?
    (9 votes)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Polina Vitić
      If a group of people work together to come up with one idea, then you would say:
      - Jone, Lisa, and Graham's idea
      (when they all "own" the same thing, you only need to put the apostrophe & "s" on the final name)

      More examples:
      - my aunt and uncle's house
      - Jayden and Amaya's wedding
      - Mom and Dad's new car

      If they each had their own idea, then you would say:
      - Jone's, Lisa's, and Graham's ideas
      (when they each "own" different things, you need to put an apostrophe & "s" after every name)

      More examples:
      - Valentina's, Lorena's, and Ana Luiza's new dresses
      - Nuria's and Yusuf's homework
      - Conor's, Saoirse's, and PJ's jack-o'-lanterns

      Hope this helps!
      (19 votes)
  • leaf green style avatar for user Komal Virani
    Does this work for British English too? As I'm an O level student I need to abide by British English.
    (9 votes)
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  • leaf orange style avatar for user Viktor
    When a first or second name ends in -s, we can either add ’ or ’s. It is more common to use ’ than ’s. When we speak, we usually pronounce the final part of the word as /zɪz/ or /sɪz/:
    Is that James’ car? (or Is that James’s car?) (both usually pronounced /ˈdʒeɪmzɪz/)
    I love Keats’ poetry. (or I love Keats’s poetry.) (both usually pronounced /ˈki:tsɪz/)
    (8 votes)
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  • starky ultimate style avatar for user andrew
    At can you have more s's in a sentence than 1 or is there a limit or what plz help :D
    (5 votes)
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    • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Sharayu
      There is no limit for any s's in the sentence. Jess's hat fell off the bus's windowpane, but Jess's friend caught it - this sentence is perfect according to the grammar. You are totally at liberty for how much times you use the s's, until you are correct according to grammar.
      (6 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Yves Bernicot
    Hello David and Paige,
    The Purdue online writing lab indicates that when the noun is a building or an object there is no need to add an apostrophe :
    So, should we write "the bus's air conditoning system" or "the bus air conditioning system" ?
    (5 votes)
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    • mr pink red style avatar for user Jakub KUBÍČEK
      In your second example however, omitting any sign of the possessive makes the word bus an adjective instead of a possessor. Personally, I prefer the way I was taught in school: to mark the possessive with an apostrophe if the word ends in an s, and with an 's otherwise. This is how it looks in practice:

      A dog drank the cat's milk.
      The bus' AC stopped working.
      My parents' friends came over.
      James' girlfriend dumped him.
      (4 votes)
  • aqualine seed style avatar for user Sabina Kohler
    Im confused. My teacher at school said that if words end in "s", like collins to make it possesive would you add a "'s" or a "'". I think to add "'" that would make it plural. Right?
    (4 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      When a word ends in "s" or a "z", it is made plural by the addition of "es". EXAMPLES bus>buses; Fuss>fusses; cross>crosses; fez>fezez.

      You are confusing plural with possessive. When a word ends in "s", to make it possessive, one adds an apostrophe.

      Jesus' cross. Russ' restaurant. Foxes' lairs.

      Run this past your teacher for a clearer explanation.
      (3 votes)
  • hopper cool style avatar for user Aye6TEN
    What about James I thought you just put an '
    (5 votes)
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  • piceratops seed style avatar for user Vir12abc
    I am confused. My teacher's taught me that you could do either Jess's or Jess'. Can you still do Jess'?
    (4 votes)
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  • leafers sapling style avatar for user trice.eagles
    why doesn't Jesus' have an "s"
    (3 votes)
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  • male robot donald style avatar for user Yeing
    I think it is a little bit weird from what I had studied...
    First, The bus('s) window-> shouldn't have ('s) because the bus is not a living thing.
    Secondly, dogs'(s) -> shouldn't have (s) cause it already ends with s in the word dogs.
    Just from what I remembered :) Hope It helps for those who confused by this clip.
    (2 votes)
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    • male robot donald style avatar for user Admiral Betasin
      Even if something isn't living, it can still have possession. "The bus's window" has correct apostrophes. Same with something like "the rock's color is grey." The example is a grammatical sentence.
      For the plural possessive, you don't need an s. So if multiple dogs posses something, you would write "The dogs' collars are broken" without an s at the end.
      (4 votes)

Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Hello Grammarians, hello Paige. - [Paige] Hi David. - [David] We're talking about possession for names or words ending in the letter S. There's some confusion, I think, about what to do if you've got to make someone's name possessive if their name ends in an S, for example, my friend Jess. If we're talking about Jess, and we're talking about something that belongs to her, like Jess's hat. We know that there should be an apostrophe in there, but should there also be an S? The answer is, yes. There had been some debate over this for some time, but now, let me tell you, the answer is yes, Jess's hat. - [Paige] Right, it seems like a lot of Esses in a row, but it's important for understanding what someone's trying to say. - [David] Mm-hm, the same thing happens regardless, it can be for words ending in S, like bus. So if we said, "The air conditioning on this bus is broken," We could say instead to make it a little bit shorter, "The bus's air conditioning is broken." Again, we're just taking all of that information about the air conditioning that belongs to the bus, all of that is just sort of being bundled up into this apostrophe S. It doesn't matter that bus already ends with an S, this works the same as any other word, we're just gonna say, "bus's." If we wanted to talk about the chili culture of the state of Texas, for example, we would say, "Texas's chili culture." - [Paige] Yeah, so it's exactly the same as any other singular word even though it ends in S, you still need another S. - [David] So just add an apostrophe S, and if you didn't know, now you know. That's how you form the possessive for names or words ending in S. You can learn anything, David out, - [Paige] Paige out.