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I have a smaller problem that I was hoping that you could help me with. It's about
how to use a possessive form with a name that ends with an S. What would be the
correct way of putting something like "Jesus mother wept" or "draw wine from Jesus
blood". Should the name be spelled Jesus, Jesus' or Jesus's? I sure would
appreciate some enlightenment on this issue! :)


PS. If there's any incorrect English in this email I apologize. Swedish is my
native tongue.


Key Member
Feb 25, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Believe it or not, native speakers are often unsure of this; and there's no agreed "right" way to do it.

My personal preference is to write -s's, since it's generally pronounced with an extra syllable: "Jesus's" is pronounced with three syllables.

However, many people consider this incorrect, and say you should simply add the apostrophe: Jesus'.

Just how much disagreement there is over this is evident when you consider that in London there is a St Thomas' Hospital and a St James's Park. A quick Google search also reveals a large number of educational establishments which have apparently given up on the question and call themselves St Thomas University (Miami Gardens, Florida and Fredericton, New Brunswick) or University of St Thomas (St Paul, Minnesota and Houston, Texas) -- the former, of course, will give a lot of grammar sticklers indigestion.

One author, giving advice to budding writers, recommended avoiding giving characters any names that end in -s, simply to sidestep the issue altogether.

So use one or the other, but be consistent -- always -s' or always -s's.

Of course, with Jesus, there is one other option available: the old-fashioned variant "Jesu". However, I wouldn't recommend it.


Aug 17, 2007
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Home Country
Russian Federation
Current Location
Russian Federation
We can refer to a dictionary.

This is Oxford Advansed Learner's Dictionary:
the disciples who passed on Jesus's teaching

It is pronounced [iz].

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