Yahoo Answers is shutting down on May 4th, 2021 (Eastern Time) and beginning April 20th, 2021 (Eastern Time) the Yahoo Answers website will be in read-only mode. There will be no changes to other Yahoo properties or services, or your Yahoo account. You can find more information about the Yahoo Answers shutdown and how to download your data on this help page.
Charles Dickens's or Dickens', which one is using the correct possessive case?
In The Elements of Style, by Strunk & White, it wrote, "Form the possessive singular of nouns by adding 's"
so, according to Strunk & White, this would be correct, "Charles Dickens's novels"
but, I've looked through three other published grammar books, and each one says that it is rather, "Charles Dickens' novels"
so...which one of these books are correct? I'm more leaning towards Strunk & White because the book is praised by critics and professors accoss the country...but I don't understand how three other books could make a mistake.
in the Strunk&white book, it wrote, "follow this rule whatever the final consonant--Charles's friend, Burns's poems" (exact quote from inside The Elements of Style)
the book specially says that some like "Dickens's novels" is okay...
- Gretchen SLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
Lean towards Strunk and White, by all means, but understand what they are saying.
The possessive of a singular noun is indeed 's. That goes for a dog's tail, the car's horn, a man's name.
But a name that already ends in S just takes an apostrophe: Dickens' novels, Mrs. Jones' cat, Delores' spaghetti.