Nouns: Singular and Plural Possessive

Contributor: Delaine Thomas. Lesson ID: 12428

Working with singular and plural possessive nouns can be a bit tricky. That little letter "s" can make a little mess! It really is not that hard, and when you complete this lesson you will "own" this!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Do you sometimes feel singled out? Do you then feel possessed by feelings of sadness? What do nouns have to say about this?

The picture above shows a single green cube surrounded by many red balls.

The green cube’s smile makes you feel happy while the red balls’ frown could make you feel sad.

  • Can you figure out what you will be studying in this lesson?
  • If you said, "singular and plural possessive nouns," you are right!

Before moving on, if you missed either of the previous Nouns Related Lessons on review, catch them in the right-hand sidebar.

In the sentence, “The green cube’s smile makes you feel happy,” the word "cube’s" is a singular possessive noun. When you write a singular possessive, you add an apostrophe and an s to a singular noun.

  • What does singular mean?

It means one person or thing. In the sentence, “The red balls’ frown could make you feel sad," the word "balls’" is a plural possessive noun. When you write a plural possessive noun and it ends in an s, you simply add an apostrophe after the s. If the noun does not end in s, you will add an apostrophe s, ('s), as in children’s toys.

Take out a sheet of paper and pencil. As you watch grammarcloud's Singular & Plural Possessive Nouns, write down the definition of a singular possessive noun and a plural possessive noun. Give two examples for each.


Look at the list of words below. Are these words singular or plural?

  • Jon
  • catcher
  • girl
  • giant
  • woman
  • bicycle

Did you say, "singular"? If you did, you are correct! How do you make these singular nouns possessive? You make them possessive by adding an ’s. So now they would read:

  • Jon’s
  • catcher’s
  • girl’s
  • giant’s
  • woman’s
  • bicycle’s

You simply add an ’ and s.

Plural possessive nouns look like this:

  • boys’
  • men’s
  • carpenters’
  • children’s
  • girls’

Remember that in order to write a possessive for a singular noun, you simply add an apostrophe and s. When writing a plural possessive noun, you simply add an apostrophe if the word ends in an s. If it is a plural word already, like "men" or "women," then you will add an apostrophe and s.

Continue to the Got It! section to practice this skill.

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.