Online Writing Center Darton State College The plural form of a noun* indicates two or more of a thing or person or idea. ◦ tree-trees, medium-media, woman-women The possessive form of a noun shows ownership or possession. ◦ George-George’s, book-book’s, girl-girl’s ◦ Parsons-Parsons’, books-books’, girls-girls’ * See more on plural nouns in “Nouns” in the Online Writing Center. To form the possessive case of most singular nouns and indefinite pronouns, add ‘s. ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Thomas Hardy’s novels the phone’s ring tone the mayor’s request the theory’s origin When a singular noun ends with an “s” letter or sound and has two or more syllables, add the apostrophe only: ◦ Brutus’ actions ◦ the Netherlands’ royal family ◦ Anthony Burgess’ novels To form the possessive case of a regular plural noun, first add “s” to make the noun plural, and then add the ‘. ◦ dog (singular noun): The dog is mine. ◦ dogs (plural noun): The dogs are mine. ◦ dogs’ (plural possessive noun): The dogs’ tails are bushy. Some nouns are plural but do not end in “s.” Add “s” and the apostrophe to make them possessive: ◦ the deer’s antlers ◦ the women’s movement anyone: This is anyone’s game. everybody: Everybody’s patience is fading. no one: No one’s answers were correct. one: One’s desires are not always fulfilled. * See more about indefinite pronouns in “Pronouns” in the Online Writing Center. In compound words (two or more words signaling one entity), the last word receives the possessive mark: ◦ My mother-in-law’s pies are delicious. ◦ My mother-in-laws’ (two mothers-in-law) pies are delicious. ◦ We unanimously accepted the Portsmouth City Council’s decisions. ◦ Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon’s famous line of division On the previous slide, you saw this sentence: ◦ Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon’s famous line of division. ◦ In this sentence, Mason and Dixon are both “owner” or creators of the famous line known as the Mason-Dixon Line. Therefore, only the second name receives the possessive marker. However, when individual possession needs to be shown, then all entities receive the possessive marker: ◦ Newton’s and Leibnitz’ contentious battle over the invention of calculus is a famous episode in the world of science. Odell, Lee, Richard Vacca, and Renee Hobbs. Elements of Language. 6th course. Austin, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 2001. Print.