The possessive of plural nouns ending in s is formed by adding an apostrophe after the s. For example, if you are referring to books belonging to your two teachers, you would write, “my teachers’ books.”
But in terms such as teachers union and farmers market, in which the first noun is plural and ends in s, some writers omit the apostrophe after the s because the first noun is attributive—that is, the first noun acts as an adjective rather than as a possessive noun. Although this practice is not incorrect, the MLA follows The Chicago Manual of Style and only omits the apostrophe for proper nouns such as Teachers College or Department of Veterans Affairs (“Possessive”). Thus, we would write teachers’ union and farmers’ market.
For those who prefer to omit the apostrophe in generic terms, be aware that if the plural form of the first noun does not end in s, an apostrophe must be used:
the sheep’s meadow
“Possessive versus Attributive Forms for Groups.” The Chicago Manual of Style Online, 17th ed., sec. 7.27, U of Chicago P, 2017, www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/book/ed17/part2/ch07/psec027.html.
Rachna Saxena 25 June 2021 AT 06:06 AM
Please guide me if I should use an apostrophe after Teachers in the phrase 'Teachers Name'
C. Barney Latimer 07 July 2021 AT 04:07 PM
Thanks for your question. If you are referring to the name of one teacher, you would place the apostrophe and “s” after the word “teacher”: “teacher’s name.” If you are referring to the names of more than one teacher, you would place the apostrophe after the “s” in “teachers”: “teachers’ names.”
Yusef 04 September 2021 AT 11:09 AM
Which one of these phrases are correct?
- Teacher's knowledge
- Teacher knowledge
Shahrad 17 October 2021 AT 03:10 PM
hi is it correct to say a week postponement ?or we should say a week's postponement??why??
C. Barney Latimer 25 January 2022 AT 05:01 PM
You would be correct to write “a week’s postponement,” not “a week postponement,” because the phrase is a shortening of “a postponement of a week.” Just as one might shorten “the car of my father” to “my father’s car,” one would shorten “a postponement of a week” to “a week’s postponement.”
JD Johnson 13 May 2022 AT 05:05 PM
Would it be improper to write "Owner Manual" if it's a link to the owner's manual of a particular item listed on a website?
Ajit 13 July 2022 AT 12:07 AM
Should it be chemical company or chemicals company? Why?
tom 14 July 2022 AT 09:07 AM
Based on what you're saying, it would be kids' corner (denoting more than one kid). Is that correct? Same for members' bar?
Jane 10 January 2023 AT 09:01 PM
How would you write this sentence? The girls soccer team will have tryouts tomorrow. I understand that girls is an attributive noun and I usually do not use an apostrophe in this sentence, but am I correct?
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