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  1. #1
    CarloSsS's Avatar
    CarloSsS is offline Senior Member
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    Default Carlos's vs. Carlos's

    Which form is correct? I was taught that I should NOT add "s" after possessives ending with "s" only when the possessives refer to a famous person, for example "Jesus' tears" or "Prince Charles' palace". That implies that "Carlos's car" or "Charles's dog" or "Russ's brother" are all correct, while "Carlos' car" or "Charles' dog" or "Russ' brother" are all incorrect. Is that really so? Would you consider "Charles' dog" incorrect?
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: Carlos's vs. Carlos's

    I would just write Carlos'. You don't have to be famous.

    This is more a matter of style. Just be consistent.

  3. #3
    CarloSsS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carlos's vs. Carlos's

    Would the pronunciation be the same no matter the terminal "s"? That is, Carlos' /ːrloʊsɪz/,but Carlos's also /kɑːrloʊsɪz/?
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: Carlos's vs. Carlos's

    Yes, the pronunciation is the same.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Carlos's vs. Carlos's

    I'm pretty sure Strunk and White say the first is correct. In any case, you're not looking at Isis's or Jesus's so omitting the final syllable doesn't seem necessary for euphony.

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carlos's vs. Carlos's

    I always write the form: Carlos's, Prince Charles's, Jesus's. When I speak, I always end the word with /ɪz/. I have the impression that most speakers/writers of BrE do the same.

  7. #7
    CarloSsS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carlos's vs. Carlos's

    As I suspected, this is yet another case in which grammarians do not agree with native speakers, who actually use the grammar. What a shame that most English tests (at least the ones I took, and there were many of them) do not reflect on this fact.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carlos's vs. Carlos's

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    As I suspected, this is yet another case in which grammarians do not agree with native speakers, who actually use the grammar.
    Most writers that I know are not prescriptive, for example:

    Quirk et al (1985.320): There is vacillation both in the pronunciation and in the spelling of these names, but most commonly (my emphasis – 5jj) the pronunciation is /ɪz/, and the spelling is an apostrophe only.

    Huddleston and Pullum (2002.1596): There is a good deal of variation here and it is not possible to give hard and fast rules.

    Swan (2005.414): We sometimes just add an apostrophe (‘) to a singular noun ending in –s, especially in literary and classical references. [...] But ‘s is more common.


    Carter and McCarthy (2006.848): An apostrophe ‘s is also added to names ending in-s. However, many writers prefer simply to add an apostrophe mark after the final –s, especially to names which have more than one syllable.

  9. #9
    CarloSsS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Carlos's vs. Carlos's

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Most writers that I know are not prescriptive, for example:

    Quirk et al (1985.320): There is vacillation both in the pronunciation and in the spelling of these names, but most commonly (my emphasis – 5jj) the pronunciation is /ɪz/, and the spelling is an apostrophe only.

    Huddleston and Pullum (2002.1596): There is a good deal of variation here and it is not possible to give hard and fast rules.

    Swan (2005.414): We sometimes just add an apostrophe (‘) to a singular noun ending in –s, especially in literary and classical references. [...] But ‘s is more common.


    Carter and McCarthy (2006.848): An apostrophe ‘s is also added to names ending in-s. However, many writers prefer simply to add an apostrophe mark after the final –s, especially to names which have more than one syllable.
    The problem is that when I see words like "most commonly", "usually", "most of the time" etc. in grammar books, I just read "always" instead. I imagine it is my subconscious effort to make things easier for me. Thank you for clearing this up for me, 5.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

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