How to Form the Possessive of Words Ending in ‘S’

If you found this blog page, chances are good you’re struggling right now with how to spell the possessive form of somebody’s name. The problem is, the name ends in ‘s,’ and it looks weird to add apostrophe ‘s’ after that.

Besides, you’re pretty sure you’ve seen it both ways, but can’t remember for sure. So here we are: just you and the blogging book editor.

Well, it’s no wonder you’re confused. Sometimes the possessive of names (and words in general) is formed using apostrophe ‘s’ and sometimes just using an apostrophe.

So when do you use which? The rule is actually simpler than you’d think.

If the word ending in ‘s’ makes a ‘z’ sound at the end (as in Mr. Powers or girls), you only add an apostrophe to form the plural:
Mr. Powers’ suspenders
the girls’ book bags

But if the word ending in ‘s’ makes an ‘s’ sound at the end (as in Doris or glass), you add an apostrophe followed by another ‘s’:
Doris’s mother makes lemonade from scratch.
I saw myself in the glass’s reflection.

Got that? Good. Now go write.

possessive form words ending s





Jessi Rita Hoffman … book editing by an industry professional