What Are Plural Possessive Nouns? - Definition & Examples

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  • 0:04 Plural Possessive Nouns
  • 1:12 Writing Plural…
  • 2:39 Examples
  • 3:04 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Hance

Elizabeth has taught elementary and middle school special education, and has a master's degree in reading education.

In this lesson, you'll learn how to recognize and use plural possessive nouns. You'll use these when writing about plural nouns that possess, or own, something.

Plural Possessive Nouns

In order to understand what a plural possessive noun is, it's first helpful to understand what each part of the term means on its own. First, plural means more than one. Plurals are usually created by adding the letter ''s'' to the end of a singular word, but some irregular plurals do not follow that rule. For example, take a look at these tables:

Singular Regular Plural
dog dogs
book books
bottle bottles

Singular Irregular Plural
mouse mice
child children
woman women

Next, a possessive is an adjective that describes when something is owned or possessed. Writers use possessives when they want to show that something belongs to someone or to something (such as Joey's ball, my lunch, and the dog's bone).

Finally, a noun is a part of speech representing people, places, things, or ideas. Common nouns are less specific and do not begin with a capital letter (such as lake, tiger, and teacher). Proper nouns name specific people, places, or things, and they always begin with a capital letter (such as Lake Michigan, Tony the Tiger, and Mrs. Smith). Common nouns and proper nouns can be possessive.

Writing Plural Possessive Nouns

Plural possessive nouns are used to show that a plural noun owns or possesses something. It does not matter if what is possessed is plural; what matters is that the noun doing the owning is plural. For most regular plural nouns, you can make the plural possessive by just adding an apostrophe to the end of the plural noun. Follow it up with whatever is being possessed.

Follow this formula for creating a plural possessive noun
plural possessive

If you have an irregular plural noun (one that does not end in the letter ''s''), you will add an apostrophe and then an ''s''.

Follow this equation when your plural noun does not already end in the letter s
irregular plural

Imagine you want to describe who owns a car. Check out how the plural possessives look different depending on whether the plural noun is regular or not in this table.

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