Possessive Nouns

A possessive noun tells "who" or "what" owns something. Possessive nouns can be either singular or plural. These nouns are in the possessive case. The possessive form of regular singular nouns ends with an apostrophe and an s ('s):

an elephant's trunk
anybody's guess
somebody's shoe
nobody's business
the girl's dress
somebody's paper
a fox's tail
a doctor's stethoscope
the surfer's board
someone's address
James's backpack
a Senator's vote
the Chief Justice's opinion
somebody's absence

the volcano's ashes
the cat's name
a fish's fin
a bull's horns
the tree's leaves
a man's clothes
the pier's railing
the computer's monitor
a box's lid
a toddler's mess
the boss's desk
the people's choice
a fax's message
Doris's briefcase

Usually only an apostrophe is added to plural nouns when they end with the letter s:

two elephants' trunks
the horses' saddles
the Wigginses' chicken
the girls' race
the Rivases' address
the Newkirks' apartment
some churches' pews
the Joneses' duplex

some boys' bicycles
the nurses' opinions
several ranchers' cattle
the teachers' lunches
those waitresses' aprons
the bosses' schedules
these lawyers' credentials
those crocodiles' mouths


Write the possessive noun from each sentence.

  1. Have you made a card for Mother's Day?
  2. Please give me your parents' names.
  3. Isabel's bicycle has a flat tire.
  4. My friend's optimism encourages me.
  5. Please help me find the ladies' room.
  6. The children's favorite game was "hide and seek."
  7. Beth's comb had lost several teeth.
  8. My friend's gift of love touched the hearts of many.
  9. The monkey's habit of searching through its hair is not to find fleas, lice, or other body parasites.
  10. Watching monkeys play added to the children's excitement.
  11. The boys' response was to behave like monkeys.
  12. The primates' antics entertain zoo curators.
  13. One of the Senators' requirements is that they live in the state that they represent.
  14. The term's length is six years for a Senator.
  15. The Senator responded promptly to the children's letters.
  16. Before the Seventeenth Amendment of 1913, the states' legislatures chose their Senators.


1. Mother's
4. friend's
7. Beth's
10. children's
13. Senators'
16. states'

2. parents'
5. ladies'
8. friend's
11. boys'
14. term's

3. Isabel's
6. children's
9. monkey's
12. primates'
15. children's