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GENERAL EDUCATION

Form the possessive singular of nouns with ‘s.

The rule in here is to form the possessive singular of nouns with ‘s. Exceptions are the possessives of ancient proper names in – es and -is, the possessive Jesus’, and such forms as for conscience’ sake, for righteousness’ sake.

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Follow this rule whatever the final consonant. Thus write,

Charles’s friend, Burns’s poems, the witch’s malice, the Beatles’s concert tour

This is the usage of the United States Government Printing Office and of the Oxford University Press.

Exceptions are the possessives of ancient proper names in – es and -is, the possessive Jesus’, and such forms as for conscience’ sake, for righteousness’ sake. But such forms as Achilles’ heel, Moses’ laws, Isis’ temple are commonly replaced by

the heel of Achilles the laws of Moses, the temple of Isis

The pronominal possessives hers, its, theirs, yours, and oneself have no apostrophe.

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