A plural possessive noun represents more than one thing or person, place, or thing and shows ownership. Let’s look at how you make a noun plural and possessive and the rules that apply to their uses.
Nouns are words that name people, places, things, and ideas. There are different ways to categorize them, and many nouns will fit into several categories. For example, “dog” is a common, countable, concrete noun. Continue on for explanations of these and other kinds of nouns.
- Proper noun: These nouns refer to a specific person, place, thing, or idea. They are always capitalized. Examples include: General Patton, Statue of Liberty, Nile River, or Avatar.
- Common noun: This is your run-of-the-mill noun. Everyday things go in this group, like: cat, moon, daisy, boys, forest, and power.
- Countable noun: These are pretty easy to figure out. These are things that can be counted, like books, tree, miles, girl, and buildings. A singular countable noun is preceded by a determiner, like: a, an, the, one, our, my, which, or that. Plural countable nouns can have a number in front of them and may have a quantifier, like: some, every, few, many, or much.
- Uncountable noun: These nouns are neither singular nor plural. They are used in the singular tense and may have quantifiers, like: some, much, or any. Examples are: water, luggage, money, sadness, coffee, and flour.
- Collective noun: This noun represents a group of things or people. Since they refer to the whole group as a unit, they are used as a single noun. Of course, if there are more than one unit, then you would use the plural. Some of these are: jury, family, class, troupe, gaggle, herd, faculty, and society.
- Concrete nouns: These are things that can be experienced through your senses. They are physical and include: song, computer, senate, Maria, houses, salt, and family.
- Abstract nouns: These refer to things that cannot be seen, felt, tasted, smelled, or heard. They are emotions, ideas, beliefs, ideologies, and character traits. Examples include: trust, deceit, peace, sympathy, bigotry, strength, maturity, liberty, silliness, and democracy.
Rules for Plural Possessive Nouns
The function of a noun in a sentence can be the subject or an object. They can modify by being possessive or an appositive. They can also modify by acting like an adverb or an adjective. For example, in “I went home” the noun “home” modifies the verb “went”, so it is acting like an adverb, telling “where.” A “storm drain” has the noun “storm” modifying the word “drain”, so it acts like an adjective. Let’s examine the rules for making nouns plural and possessive.
To make a noun plural, which means there is more than one of them, you normally add an “s.” Certain nouns than end with an s, x, ch, or sh need an “es” added. Examples are: witches, buses, kisses, boxes, bushes, or Joneses. There are special nouns that have irregular or mutated plurals. Some of these are:
- child - children
- woman - women
- person - people
- goose - geese
- mouse - mice
- deer - deer
Finally, some words keep their Greek or Latin form when making a plural. A few of these are:
- nucleus - nuclei
- syllabus - syllabi
- cactus - cacti
- thesis - theses
- fungus - fungi
- criterion - criteria
Here are the rules for making nouns possessive which shows ownership. These include the rules for making a plural possessive noun.
- To make a singular noun possessive, add an apostrophe and an “s”. This applies to plural nouns that do not end with an “s”, like children - children’s and men - men’s.
- When making plural possessive nouns, add only an apostrophe if the noun ends with an “s”, like buses’ and countries’.
- Hyphenated and compound nouns need an apostrophe and “s” added to the last noun, like father-in-law’s.
- If two nouns are joined together, then add an apostrophe and “s” to only the last one. Example: Jack and Jill’s.
- If you have two nouns together, but they have different ownership, each will need an apostrophe and “s” added. This one rarely comes up, but here is an example: Jan’s and Tony’s cars are yellow and blue.