On Authenticity, Authors and New Rules for Social Media – Or, Cultivating the Happy, Productive Author Persona
The Artistic Side of the Psychic Twins

Plural S vs. Possessive S

It drives me crazy when I see the wrong use of "s".

Thems smallerLook at the poster on the right. 

Now, we know that "thems" isn't a word. But if it were, as the creator of this poster intended, then it would be written just like I did: THEMS.

Why? Because it's intended as a plural. More than one "them" equals "thems". 

Now, if "them" owned something, or had an attribute, it would be "them's". 

Here are some examples:

1. There were three cats on the fence.
2. Hey, look at that middle cat's white tail!

Number one is an example of a plural "s"--more than one cat. Number two is an example of a possessive "s" that shows ownership. 

When you're confused, ask yourself "Is there more than one thing I'm talking about here?" If yes, then add an "s" without an apostrophe because it's a plural usage. 

Here's another example:

1. I found two coins in the couch.
2. The coin's date was completely rubbed off.

Another way to tell the difference is to ask yourself if the sentence can be reworded using "of the". The date of the coin was completely rubbed off. (Tips you off that it's possessive).  And, "Hey, look at the white tail of the middle cat!"

-- Janet


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)