How to Write the Possessive Form of a Noun


Many students find writing possessive nouns confusing. They are unsure where to place the apostrophe or they do not understand the difference between nouns with or without apostrophes. Nouns include people, places, things and ideas. When you use an apostrophe with a noun, you illustrate the possessive form of the noun, which means you want to show ownership of the object or idea, an imperative element of the English language. Placing apostrophes correctly eliminates confusion and leads to well-written work.

  • Insert an apostrophe followed by an "s" after a singular noun: The dog's bone or Cynthia's pen.

  • Place an apostrophe and an "s" after plural nouns that do not end in "s.": The group's study habits or the children's feelings.

  • Add apostrophes after plural nouns ending in "s": the kids' sandbox or the kittens' food.

  • Insert an apostrophe and an "s" after compound nouns: her father in law's estate.

  • Place an apostrophe and an "s" after the final noun in a sentence or phrase that indicates two people or things share possession of an object: Nick and Audrey's apartment bills.


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