Asked in Apostrophes and EllipsesPlural NounsPossessive Nouns
What are Apostrophes with Certain Plurals?
December 23, 2014 3:01AM
Knowing when or how to use apostrophes can be confusing sometimes. Apostrophes are always used with contractions, or words that were created by shortening two words such as don't, can't, I'll, you're, etc. They are also used to show that a certain noun possesses something. You might say something like, "The dog's water bowl was empty." In this sentence, "dog's" indicates its possession of the water bowl. Notice that the apostrophe appears before the plural "s" in each of the nouns. However, sometimes you might need to show that plurals of the same noun possess something. In this case, you would write them this way: "Three dogs' water bowls were empty." This possession shows that there are three different dogs with three different water bowls as the subjects. When plural nouns require an apostrophe, the punctuation is added after the "s." There are also irregular plural nouns to consider such as children, women, and people. These types of plurals do not have an "s" ending. When these express possession, they follow the same rule as singular nouns: children's desks, women's clothing, people's voices.