An Apostrophe Dilemma Solved

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What do you write when two or more people possess the same thing? Do you use an apostrophe for each of their names or just one apostrophe?

“John and Serena’s car is a bright red.” By using the apostrophe only in Serena’s name, you are signaling that John and Serena both own that car. Use a possessive apostrophe only in the owner’s name closest to the item.

If each one of them owns a separate car, use possessive apostrophes for both owners: “John’s and Serena’s cars have adjacent parking spots in the office garage.”

 

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2 Comments

Filed under All things having to do with the English language

2 responses to “An Apostrophe Dilemma Solved

  1. Aha! I’ve done this wrong. I think my fourth grade teacher taught me to apostrophize all owners of a single object (joke intentional, by the way). She also insisted upon the pronunciations “mis CHEE vi ous”, and “crick” for creek, however, so I should have known better than to have listened.

    • Ack! Never trust a misCHEEvius person who lives near a crick. I once taught at a school where another English teacher taught the kids about hyperBOWL. I died a little when I heard that.

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