The apostrophe is a punctuation and diacritical mark used in the Saxon Genitive form to express possession.
The Saxon Genitive is formed in different ways, depending on the word that indicates the possession.
- if it is a proper name ending in s: we can use either ‘ or ‘s. But nowadays is more common to see only the apostrophe itself.
- if the word is a regular noun in plural: we add just the apostrophe.
- if the word is an irregular noun in plural, those that do not make the plural adding a final s: we add ‘s, because they are specific words.
- if it is a compound noun, those that have more than one word (separated by a hyphen or not): we add ‘s to the last word of the combination.
- name ending in -s
- He is Mr Jones‘ employee.
- He is Angelina Jones‘s husband.
- Jennifer is Chris‘ girlfriend.
- regular plural nouns
- This is the boys‘ room.
- The girls‘ school is excellent.
- The dogs‘ toys are all over the living room.
- irregular plural nouns
- Is this the men‘s bathroom?
- The women‘s departament is upstairs.
- The children‘s room is messy.
- compound nouns
- My mother in law‘s party was very boring.
- Her father in law‘s garden is beautiful.
- His brother in law‘s children are active and optimistic.
The saxon genitive is a grammatical element used to represent that a person or a group possess something. It is indicated by the apostrophe followed by the letter s (‘s) after the name of the person.
External link to Apostrophe in Saxon Genitive exercises (1193).