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Thread: Apostrophe

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    Cool Apostrophe

    When using a possessive apostrophe for names that end in 's', e.g. James, should it be "James' mother" or "James's mother"? I was taught "James'", but in the Eat Shoots and Leaves book, it says that it is now "James's", but this looks wrong. Help please, thank you.

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    Default Re: Apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by Pensby View Post
    When using a possessive apostrophe for names that end in 's', e.g. James, should it be "James' mother" or "James's mother"? I was taught "James'", but in the Eat Shoots and Leaves book, it says that it is now "James's", but this looks wrong. Help please, thank you.
    There are many scheems for handling the possessives of singular words/names ending in s.

    1. Always add 's.
    2. Add 's to words of one syllable; add just an apostrophe to words of two or more syllables.
    3. Add 's only if you pronounce it as an additional syllable.
    4. Add 's unless the additional syllable would result in a repetitious sound (as with Jesus, Moses, Xerxes, etc.)

    I was taught #2, but in the past few decades, most style guides I have consulted have switched to #1. This is probably the clearest method.

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    savedhamlet554 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Apostrophe

    I learned James' myself as the word ends with an 's' therefore apostrophe only.

    According to up to date grammar books that we use in school, though, it is James's.

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    Default Re: Apostrophe

    Why the confusion?

    It's correct to write the word as you say it.

    So you might say It's James's car.

    Try saying it and you'll see you need to put the 's

    Say we are talking about a plural word - girls. It ends in s and we are talking about 2 or more girls ok?

    If you want to say It's the girls' bedroom - listen to how you say it and you will know whether to use the extra s or not.

    girls's -
    doesn't sound right does it?



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    Post Re: Apostrophe

    Thank you for clearing this up for me as I was taught that if there's an s and the end of the word then the apostrophe follows the s. such as in a plural noun or a name, like Carlosī but as you said it depends on how it is pronouned. You do say, "It's Carlos's car" not "Carlosīcar"

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    Searching for language is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Apostrophe

    Quote Originally Posted by billie tisdell gonzalez View Post
    Thank you for clearing this up for me as I was taught that if there's an s and the end of the word then the apostrophe follows the s. such as in a plural noun or a name, like Carlosī but as you said it depends on how it is pronouned. You do say, "It's Carlos's car" not "Carlosīcar"
    In Canada it would be Carlos's car. If you don't pronounce the second 's' it would indicate that the name is Carlo, not Carlos.

    I am not a teacher.

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