#GrammarTrivia: [-‘s] and [-s’]

Do you know what [-‘s] and [-s’] mean? See the difference? When do we use them?

Let’s talk about the first one: [-‘s].

[-‘s] can mean 3 things:

1) ‘s = the ending for the singular possessive form of nouns.

Examples: Anna’s book (buku milik Anna), Ted’s uncle (pamannya Ted).

Can you give other examples for us, fellas? :)

  1. @donwaro: Pipi’s mother
  2. @RaihanGhaffar: Mrs. Penny’s house
  3. @jessicaMrp: 1) example: Dad’s to-do-list (daftar yang harus dikerjakan ayah)

Great examples, guys! I guess most of you get it.

Let’s move to the second meaning of [-‘s].

2) ‘s = contraction of ‘is’.

Examples: Mary’s a bright student. (Mary murid yg pintar.); He’s coming! (Dia akan datang!).

Give us more examples! ;)

  1. @ARFRCHKM: It’s awesome!
  2. @pranasai: Lena’s dancing “Poco-Poco” in my house. Lena’s a great dancer.
  3. @febrynahl: Who’s he?

Another great set of examples, guys!

And the third and last meaning of [-‘s] would be…

3) ‘s = contraction of ‘has’.

Examples: He’s been studying for hours! (Dia telah belajar selama berjam-jam!); She’s gone. (Dia telah pergi.)

More examples?

  1. @OwLuck: It’s never been finished
  2. @ikaasetyowati: he’s been waiting for her answer since yesterday
  3. @mulletoh: She’s learned a lot from her past

Nice work, guys!

And now [-s’]. The position of the apostrophe is after ‘s’, different from [-‘s] that is before ‘s’.

4) s’ = regular ending of the possessive form of plural nouns.

Examples: the boys’ shoes, the girls’ purses.

More examples?

  1. @ayaa13: the students’ books
  2. @amaya0630407: the princesses’ night gowns


  • If the plural nouns are in irregular form, we still use [-‘s], not [-s’]. Examples: children’s clothes, men’s shoes.
  • For nouns that end in ‘s’, there are 2 ways of writing the possessive form. Examples: Jess’ dress, Jess’s dress.
  • If the noun is not plural but ends in ‘s’ (princess, Jess – a person’s name), we use [-s’] too. Example: Jess’ dress.

Qs & As

Q@Olivia_Vbee: but don’t forget if the last letter is “S”., don’t use “S” again., Example : Denis’ Home

A: In British English we still use the ‘s’. Example: Bridget Jones’s Diary. ;)

Q@nhinurhik: How about Rolling Stones? It should be Rolling Stones’ album or Rolling Stones’s album? Thanks in advance

A: Both are correct. But if you wanna learn more about the difference, have a look at this: Use of the apostrophe.

Q@GloriaBlessca: how do we pronounce Jess’ dress? Where do we put the stress?

A: There is no additional /iz/ sound at the end for ‘Jess’ dress’. This might help: Use of the apostrophe.

Compiled and written by @NenoNeno at @EnglishTips4U on January 7, 2013

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