That Confusing “S”

The last post on the “s” engendered more than a few questions. Here are a couple of answers. In the construction, “…one of the girl’s/girls’ phones…” or “…one of the voter’s/voters’ choices…,” the form should be plural possessive. …We were talking with one of the girls’ friends at the time. …It has to deal with one of his friends’ mothers. …

That Confusing “S”

When a proper name ends in “s” and we have to make it plural or possessive, it seems it is always a bit jarring. There are several things to keep in mind: First, when a surname has the word “the” in front of it, it is always plural. …I saw the Cohens when I visited D.C. …The Johnsons joined us …

An Extra Wrinkle to the Apostrophe Question

…I went to the Nelson house. OR …I went to the Nelsons’ house. Each of these is correct to say in English. Obviously, the second one has to deal with the possessive whereas the first one does not. Remember that, when a surname has the word “the” in front of it, it is always plural. It is the names that …

Those Darn Hyphens

If a noun is listed as separate words, then it stays separate words — and is not hyphenated — as a direct (right in front of the noun) adjective. …He is in real estate. …He is a real estate broker. …He is in high school. …He is a high school senior. This gets a little crazy since it means that …

Singular Possessives…Again

There seem to be so many variations in the way everyone wants to do the singular possessive: apostrophe alone sometimes, apostrophe s sometimes. Does the word end in s? How is it pronounced? The rule is so simple: Add apostrophe s to the singular form of the word for the singular possessive — no struggles, no mess, no consternation, no …

Apostrophe or Hyphen

When there is a quantity, measurement, distance, value, amount that is expressed as a direct adjective (right in front of a noun) AND there is an “s” on the adjective, use an apostrophe “s” when it is singular and an “s” apostrophe when it is plural. …one minute’s delay …five minutes’ delay …one week’s vacation …two weeks’ vacation When there …

Apostrophe “d”

When an abbreviation or a proper name is used as a verb, add apostrophe d for the ending. …It was later discovered that he had OD’d. …We Prius’d it for the night instead of taking the big car. When an “-ing” is needed, use apostrophe ing for the ending. [Remember that, though reporters think of the g as an “ing,” …