Using Possessive Nouns

What are possessive nouns?

Possessive nouns are used to denote ownership or to detail an aspect or attribute of something. If a phrase can be changed to say that a noun belongs to someone or something, then a possessive noun may be used. Remember, the possessive normally is placed in front of the item it owns.

Singular nouns are made possessive  by adding an ‘s onto the word If a noun is representing only one of something, then it is singular. Remember, even if a singular noun ends in –s (such as molasses), an ‘s is still added.

Plural Possessives:

  • Most plural nouns are made  possessive by adding only an  apostrophe onto the word In other words, if the plural form of the noun ends in –s, then the plural possessive form will only use an apostrophe.
  • Irregular plural nouns are made  possessive by adding ‘s onto the  word Irregular plural nouns (such as geese) change form rather than adding an –s to make them plural. Thus, we treat them like singular nouns when making them possessive.

Some steps

  • Make the noun singular or plural as  needed
  • Add an apostrophe after the word
  • Add an “s” after the word if needed
Plural Possessives look like:
  1. The hat of the boy is green. 
  2. The boy’s hat is green.


  1. The hats of the boys are green. 
  2. The boys’ hats are green.


  1. The hats of the children are green. 
  2. The children’s hats are green.


  1. The boy hat fell to the ground.
  2. The boy’ hat fell to the ground.
  3. The boy’s hat fell to the ground.



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