Writing can involve making words plural and possessive. It really is not as hard as you may think. The key = “think.” Please pause to recall the simple rules that you learned in grade school and consult a dictionary or grammar book for how to handle situations that are truly difficult.


A word is made plural ordinarily by adding to its end an “s”

(store → stores) or “es” (thorax → thoraxes).

If a word already ends in an “s” you’ll probably have to make it plural by adding “es”: masses, summons. More on this in an upcoming post.


A word or a proper noun/name is made possessive (possessing something) ordinarily by adding to its end either an apostrophe and “s” (or just an apostrophe, in certain situations). Right now, we’ll just look at simple usage. When thinking about possession, think with “of” and “belonging to” in the equation. Alan’s book = the book of Alan, the book belonging to Alan. Example:


The store’s sign [the sign belonging to the store) says the sale will end on Friday.


If you cannot reason through a sentence in this way, then you’ll know that its subject is not possessive and that you should NOT add an apostrophe.


Related, when a word has an “s” on its end, don’t throw an apostrophe in front of or behind the “s” for the heck of it. Here’s an example:


Incorrect:  The purse is her’s.  The car is his’.

Correction: The purse is hers.  The car is his.


I’ve also seen various incorrect versions for plural possessives, which we’ll address later. Incorrect or haphazard use of apostrophes tends to push grammarians/editors like me toward high blood pressure or insanity. So, please think before you use them.


Many more tips for grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, and proofreading, and more info about writing, books, and such will reach your inbox as time goes on. As I always say, Accuracy = Credibility! On the other hand, if someone you know needs a full-scale reminder or to start from scratch, Writestyle’s online courses for only $99 each could be the perfect remedy. We’re here to help!

And, if you like “Dancing with the Stars,” you might want to read my blog on that, too.


Stay tuned!


Vickie L. Weaver

Vickie L. Weaver

Owner at Writestyle
Writing has been an important talent and part of my life since I was a child.Professionally, after decades of employment for others, I founded Writestyle in 1996 to provide writing, editing, proofreading, training, and more to clients worldwide (www.writestyle.com).Clients often call my work “magic.”I have written and/or edited for “Coexistence Magazine” (national), for “Ohio Magazine,” and for various newspapers.In addition, I have edited or contributed to the writing of numerous books.Personally, I have written in various genres.I have always composed poetry; as such, I have won awards and publication for some of my poems, and I am compiling a book of my poetry.One of my children’s books is set for publication.With my second husband, family and friends in Ohio, I enjoy music and dance, aid charitable causes, and strive for beauty and harmony in life.
Vickie L. Weaver

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