Unit 8.1

Apostrophe in Saxon Genitive


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.

  1. 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.
  2. if the word is a regular noun in plural: we add just the apostrophe.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


  1. name ending in -s
    • He is Mr Jones employee.
    • He is Angelina Jones‘s husband.
    • Jennifer is Chris girlfriend.
  2. regular plural nouns
    • This is the boys room.
    • The girls school is excellent.
    • The dogs toys are all over the living room.
  3. irregular plural nouns
    • Is this the men‘s bathroom?
    • The women‘s departament is upstairs.
    • The children‘s room is messy.
  4. 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.