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    #1

    plural where does the apostrophe go?

    Hello.

    Please tell me how to write correctly the following sentance?

    There were three Jesus standing in a row.

    I particularly would like to know where the apostrophe would go on the word "Jesus". I think it goes at the end of the s but also if you wanted to say "it's Jesus" in the sense that it belongs to Jesus does that also have an apostrophe at the end of the s?

    British english please not American

    many thanks

  1. queenbu's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: plural where does the apostrophe go?

    I think, as a plural, it's 'three Jesuses'. You don't use apostrophes.
    As 'belonging to Jesus', we sometimes just add an apostrophe to a singular noun ending in s,especially older and foreign names.
    Socrates' ideas.
    But 's is more common.
    Denis's terrible wife.

    So I guess both Jesus' and Jesus's are correct.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #3

    Re: plural where does the apostrophe go?

    Welcome, Jeanette.

    You're correct:

    Ex: There were three Jesus' standing in a row.
    Ex: It's Jesus' name.

    Spelling Help
    sentence, not sentance.

    All the best.

  3. queenbu's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: plural where does the apostrophe go?

    I'm sure Casiopea knows better!

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #5

    Re: plural where does the apostrophe go?

    Both are acceptable.

    From Quite Interesting <Talk Forum>:

    Lynne Truss put it quite humorously when she said something to the effect of: do this, this and this, but always make an exception for Jesus.

    The Oxford Guide to Style prefers to add 's to names already ending with s unless they are classical names, in which case it would advocate the apostrophe alone. Thus St. James's Gate Brewery, but Achilles' armour. Why it should make such a distinction, I do not know. Jesus' it describes as an "accepted archaism", while Jesus's is " acceptable in non-liturgical use". Fowler reckons that apostrophe alone is a more old fashioned way of doing things, and advocates always adding 's to monosyllabic names, and preferably to longer ones.

    Jesus seems to be a bit of an exception though - Jesus' is rather more common than Jesus's. When I have a bit more time I'll look it up in a usage guide, but I expect to find that Jesus' has been used for so long that even the sniffiest usage guides allow it.

    FWIW, Possessive of Jesus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia agrees but does not cite a source - I'll see if I can add a better source tomorrow.

    I have always understood it to be optional, apostrophe or apostrophe s, but one thing is certain, the apostrophe is always required.
    Usually I leave off the final s.

    All the best.

  5. queenbu's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: plural where does the apostrophe go?

    we sometimes just add an apostrophe to a singular noun ending in s,especially older and foreign names.
    Socrates' ideas.
    But 's is more common.
    Denis's terrible wife.


    I took this from 'Practical English Usage' - Michael Swan

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    #7

    Re: plural where does the apostrophe go?

    Quote Originally Posted by jeanette thomas View Post
    Hello.
    Please tell me how to write correctly the following sentance?
    There were three Jesus standing in a row.
    However, there was/existed only one Jesus, so maybe you can say 'There were three statues of Jesus in a row.'

    It could also be 'Jesi' but it's very uncommon in everyday language.The plural of 'virus' is 'viruses',no? The plural of 'locus' is 'loci'.
    I'd love to have other opinions.
    Last edited by queenbu; 09-Feb-2007 at 15:30.


    • Join Date: Feb 2009
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    #8

    Re: plural where does the apostrophe go?

    hi there - have to disagree with casiopea on this one!!

    (Quoting...)
    Ex: There were three Jesus' standing in a row.
    Ex: It's Jesus' name.


    No! There is NO apostrophe in the first sentence - it's just a plural.
    The second sentence should read 'It's Jesus's name' - It is pronounced 'Jesus-es' (i.e. you are pronouncing 3 letter s sounds in that one word so you need to write them down). There is absolutely NO reason to change how you use your apostrophe based on the last letter of a person's name - it's a fairly modern alteration that needn't have happened!

    hope this helps!
    Craig - English Teacher


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    #9

    Re: plural where does the apostrophe go?

    I see the problem arising from the addition of s to indicate both plurality and possession. Take for example Lords cricket ground in London. How many lords? Are we indicating a cricket ground of many lords, or possession by a single lord. Since there was a single lord its Lord's.

    But then consider the expression "To dot your I's and cross your T's". Clearly we are referring to all I's, thus there is plurality not possession. Yet we cannot remove the apostrophe because then we would have "dot your is" and that is a common word.

    How about Mr Jones. We could indicate possession with Jones's but this is usually written as Jones'. If Mr and Mrs Jones have joint ownership or their house, then we have both plurality and possession. We could say the Jones house but then we are ignoring our rules. We could add an s then a 's to give Joness's or the other way around to give Joans'ss. Both are cumbersome.

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    #10

    Re: plural where does the apostrophe go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    Welcome, Jeanette.

    You're correct:

    Ex: There were three Jesus' standing in a row.
    Ex: It's Jesus' name.

    Spelling Help
    sentence, not sentance.

    All the best.
    No. Sorry. Jesus' is not plural for Jesus. Not ever. There were three Jesuses standing in a row.

    But because of your spelling help, we'll commute your sentence.

    =O]

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