apostrophe "s" if the name ends in "S"

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Vina2010, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. Vina2010 Senior Member

    Hi everybody!

    Can any native speaker tell me if I should write the geniive s, if the name ends in s. Example: Milagros's car.

    Many thanks!

    Just in the case of a name ( only one person ending in s) not in this case, The boys' ball.

    Many thanks!!

    Hugs! :9
  2. earcut Senior Member

    People's names that end in "s" you can write (') or ('s).

    For example:-
    Charles' job was on the line.

    Charles's job was on the line.

    Try to avoid sounding like hissing Sid though. When an added - s would lead to three closely bunched s or z sounds just use an apostrophe at the end.
    The map of Ulysses' journey.

    Taken from here.
  3. Vina2010 Senior Member

    Thanks, earcut!!!

    Have a great weekend!

    Hugs! .)
  4. jbachelor Senior Member

    Madrid, Spain
    English - USA
    This is a great topic and an ongoing debate amongst English speakers. I for one learned that if a name ends in "s", you only need to put an apostrophe and not add an additional "s". It would sound ridiculous to me to say Jesus's love. And really, the bigger question here isn't how we pronounce words, but rather how they are spelled and what the rules mandate.

    The Chicago Manual of Style is in line with the majority of current guides, and recommends the traditional practice of leaving out the additional "s" at the end of names ending in "s". The only organizations you'll find claiming that an additional "s" is necessary are new-aged, American ones who make senseless changes just to put out new additions of their books to make more money.

    I've said this before and I'll say it again. The problem with the English language is that we don't have a governing body over it like Spanish does; therefore, you get all these PhD's in English or a reputable organization here and there who can make radical changes to the way we've always been taught, and there's no higher power to dispute it and all of a sudden it's printed in textbooks and a debate breaks out.

    I digress. I think you should stick to the original rules and leave off the "s" at the end of names ending in "s", such as Jesus. That is the most widely accepted rule in English-speaking countries, and is even accepted by the majority of credible American sources.

    Jesus' love. Marcos' pen. Paris' wig.
  5. earcut Senior Member

    Fine, that is what I was taught. But after finding contradictory results I thought the rules had changed.
  6. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    English, UK
    If one were to write Milagros' car, when read out, it might be thought to refer to the car of someone called Milagro not Milagros, but with well known names, confusion is unlikely: Jesus' love, Moses' tablets, Ulysses' voyages. 'S would not be grammatically wrong here but is to be avoided because of the resultant, rather ridiculous, hissing sound. Note, however, that in St. James's Park in London, the 'S is always used with the familiar name. For some reason it sounds alright.
  7. Vina2010 Senior Member

    Many thanks to you, nice people in the forum!!!

    I was so sleepy and stressed last night that I came into this really silly doubt, although I have also been taught that after "s" in a name we should omit the "s" por possession, however, I read a name ending in "S" and the 's for possession several times.

    Anyway, I really want to thank for all the quick and kind answers.

    Have a great weekend!

    Hugs! :)
  8. Spug Senior Member

    I'm sorry, but you've got this precisely backward.

    Please have a look at this excerpt from The Chicago Manual of Style (current as of this morning):

    "7.17 Most nouns The possessive of most singular nouns is formed by adding an apostrophe and an s, and the possessive of plural nouns (except for a few irregular plurals that do not end in s) by adding an apostrophe only. This practice, used in conjunction with the exceptions and options outlined in 7.19–22, reflects the way possessive forms are generally pronounced and is largely faithful to Strunk and White’s famous rule 1 (“Form the possessive singular of nouns by adding ’s”). Since feelings on these matters sometimes run high, users of this manual may wish to modify or add to the exceptions. For an alternative practice, see 7.23. See also 5.25–27.

    the horse’s mouth
    a bass’s stripes
    puppies’ paws
    children’s literature
    a herd of sheep’s mysterious disappearance"


    "7.18 Proper nouns, letters, and numbers

    The general rule covers most proper nouns, including names ending in s, x, or z, in both their singular and plural forms, as well as letters and numbers.

    Kansas’s legislature
    Chicago’s lakefront
    Burns’s poems
    Marx’s theories
    Berlioz’s works
    Strauss’s Vienna
    Dickens’s novels
    the Lincolns’ marriage
    Williams’s reputation
    the Williamses’ new house
    Malraux’s masterpiece..."

    and so on. Please note Kansas's legislature, Burns's poems, and Strauss's Vienna.

    As you can see, CMS's recommendation is contrary to what you've said.

    I graduated from high school in 1972. I still have my old English grammar textbook (Warriner's English Grammar and Composition). Unfortunately, the copyright page has fallen out of the book, so I can't cite the publishing date, but it probably was before 1970. Here's what the book says in this regard:
    "35.1. To form the possessive case of a singular noun, add an apostrophe and an s.
    The list of examples includes this one: Gus's coat.

    The book goes on to explain that for words of more than one syllable ending in s, the alternative method of adding just the apostrophe is acceptable. However, I still remember - quite well, actually - that my old grammar teachers without exception taught us to add 's to multisyllable words ending in s. I also recall that standard usage in the 70s was to add 's to such words.

    So, your claim that this is some "new-aged" trend just isn't tenable - unless you consider 1970 to be "new age." :)

    "the original rules... the most widely accepted... accepted by the majority of credible American sources..." - according to whom? Can you offer cites?

    Apologies if this comes across as brusque, but your post is simply misleading.

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