's-genitive with words ending in s(s)

Discussion in 'English Only' started by jester., Mar 30, 2007.

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  1. jester.

    jester. Senior Member

    Aachen, Germany
    Germany -> German

    I'm surprised about this myself: since I started learning English, I've never been sure how to form the 's-genitive with words that end in s or ss.

    Is it correct to write: Jonas's car, Jess's car or should I write Jonas' car, Jess' car or maybe even something completely different?

    In case I should write Jonas's, how should I pronounce that? [Jonas] or [Jonases]? Jonas' would just be [Jonas], I imagine.

    I'm looking forward to your answers. :)
  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    EDIT - Here is a more comprehensive response that I compiled recently.

    For possessive forms of proper nouns ending in s/z see:
    Chavez's or Chavez' stuff
    Chris' or Chris's dog? Possessive forms of proper nouns
    proper names enfing in Z + possessive
    Possessive of names ending with s

    For the boss's daughter, see:
    Saxon genitive - boss
    Possessive of Dress = Dress's

    You are welcome to add to any of those.

    You will find that while there is a great deal of agreement on much of this topic, there are some aspects of the use of possessive apostrophes on which there are differing views.
    There are several different style guides suggested in those links - they do not all recommend the same style.
    Whichever style you pick, it important that you follow it consistently.
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