Possessive Forms in English

Possessive forms are always confusing for any average English writer. The book “Elements of Style” starts with this issue. Here’s a small note with appropriate references.
Where to use ‘s?
  1. Charles’s friend
  2. Buns’s poems
Where not to use ‘s?
  1. Jesus’, (if old names end with us, es or is. Seems Charles is not an old name.)
  2. for conscience’ sake, for righteousness’ sake, Moses’ Laws, Isis’ temple.
  3. plurals – boys’, girls’, parents’ (note: parent’s and parents’ mean different things… former is singular and latter is plural)
  4. its, yours, ours, theirs, hers.
Special cases:
  1. It’s means “it is”.
  2. its means “belonging to it” (possessive).
  3. There is no ‘ or s after his.
Some readings:



Author: Venkatesh Vinayakarao

Researcher, Computer Science.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s