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HI----WHERE DO YOU USE S` OR`S AFTER A PERSONS NAME TO DENOTE POSSESSION & PLURALS
EX: JOHN`S OR JOHNS`

THANKS-----------------------------------------MIKE
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1. Plural nouns not ending in 's' take both the apostrophe and the 's':
"The children's toys."
"The men's cars."

2. Nouns that take -s for the plural add only the apostrophe to indicate possession (this is called 'zero genitive'):
"The boys' toys."
"The dogs' tails."

3. The 'zero form' is also used:
a. with Greek names of more than one syllable:
"Socrates' wife."
"Euripides' plays."

b. with nouns ending in the sound /z/, in writing only the apostrophe is often used, butthe usual pronunciation seems to be /iz/, as if the 's' were actually there. But there are inconsistencies, and both forms seem to be accepted.
You usually write: "Burns' poems" and "Dickens' plays".
The most common pronunciation, however, seems to be /'b3nziz/ and /'dikinziz/.
(The "i" in these words is supposed to be the English 'short i' sound)

c. In fixed expressions with 'for... sake', the zero form is also used.
"For goodness' sake."

4. All other names ending in a sibilant sound other than /z/ (see 3.b.) have the regular 's genitive:
"Ross's theories."
"Tess's new dress."

A bit messy, isn't it? Emotion: smile

Miriam
Comments  
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
In the case of Burns and Dickens, it is also perfectly correct to add 's, according to some grammarians.

I'm not taking sides here, but this makes the rule much simpler. (I used to teach English in Spain, and believe me, my students always appreciated anything that would simplify things for them!)
I agree with Boston . Its hard to follow a response of an expert who uses too much difficult words than who better prefer to be simple in writting.
Atesttaker,
I hope you don't mean *** am the expert? I'm only a teacher.

I'm sorry you find the rules confusing or difficult to understand, but you'll find the same rules in any fairly good grammar book. I didn't make them up. I had to study these rules too, in order to speak/write "educated" English. And I think it was worth both the time and the effort. Emotion: smile

Miriam
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