Possessives: Possessives I

March 21, 2002: Issue 15

SIM STYLE: Is it “oil-based” or “oil-base” paint?
Oil-base paint and water-base paint, without the “ed,” are both correct.

GRAMMAR: How do I handle possessives for proper names
that end in “s”?
Simply add an apostrophe to the end. For the plural possessive form of
a name that ends in “s,” add an “es” followed by an apostrophe.
     incorrect: Jeffrey Marks’s house
correct: Jeffrey Marks’ house
correct:  The Markses’ house

One exception: Foreign words that end in a silent “s” take an apostrophe and an additional “s” in the possessive form.
correct: Des Moines’s only loft-style apartments

For more information, see Possessives section in the SIM Stylebook.

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