In the movie, 'Lost in Translation' there's a line, "Why do they switch the r's and l's here?" What it means is that the Japanese almost always pronounce those words incrrectly, such as "good ruck'" or "I don't lemember."

My question is, what are these "s" for? (the r's and l's) possessive? plural?
And why are they necessary? (By any chance, should I have written "what are these s'es for?"

Thanks for advance!
The use of the apostrophe has nothing to do with the genitive in your example. It is common to add an apostrophe before a plural ending (s) if the s is added to an abbreviation, a numeral or anything that is not a noun. In your case this is simply to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. R and l are letters, not complete nouns. Do not write s'es. Write s's.

Usage often varies. Both versions are used:
in the 1980s / 1980's
two MPs / MP's

Some people object vehemently to using the apostrophe in the above examples whereas others see nothing wrong with it.

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Thank you again, so quick, so clear.

I agree with CB.

However, if the line was spoken in a movie, how do you know that apostrophes were used? Emotion: smile

oh sure, I've checked it with the subtitle.

Thanks, anyway

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