Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 8 years ago

I have a grammar problem?

Ok, so there is a family whose last name are all "smiths" (John smiths, Emma smiths...)

So where to put the apostrophe?

For example..." this is the Smiths' car "

As in the whole familys car

Some people say that it should be "Smith's car" but I was taught that if the apostrophe is before the 's' then It is singular (brandon's)

IF the 's' is after then it is plural (the boys' lockerroom) there are multiple boys so its after. A special case is made if a persons name is boy. Then its back to singular.

Now there is a problem with a name with an s at the end (John smiths)

So if we say "John Smiths's car"

some people get mad, they say that it should be (John Smith's car)

What do you think?

6 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Smith's car....belonging to Smith [eg John]

    Smiths' car.....belonging to the Smiths [family]

    If the surname ends with an "s" I would go with s's or maybe ses for the plural. Like Jones.

    Confused? Me too.

  • Bert H
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    What do I think?

    I just know the facts.

    Last name 'Smith'.

    Mr. Smith's car is red. (The car belonging to Mr. Smith is red).

    Last name 'Smiths'.

    Mr. Smiths' cat is red. (The car belonging to Mr. Smiths is red.

    NEVER - Mr, Smiths's car is red.

    The boys (plural) locker-room is painted red.

    The boys (plural) locker-rooms (plural) are painted red.

    The boy's (singular boy ( ' ) shows possession) locker-room is painted red. (The locker-room belonging to a boy (singular) is painted red.

    The boy's locker-room are painted red. (NO GOOD) - single room.

    The Boy's or the Boys' (only if Boy or Boys is a name).

    The Boy's locker-room is green. (Boy is a name).

    The Boys' locker-room is green. (Boys is a name).

    (NEVER - The Boys's locker-room is green.)

    MR. Smith's car is red and Mr. Smiths' car is green. (Smith and Smiths are names).

    If a name ends in 's', the apostrophe is placed AFTER the 's' ONLY, nothing more.

    Source(s): author
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Holy Christ. Five-year-old children can understand this.

    Just get a copy of the Chicago Manual of Style and look up "possessives" in it.

    How can you be old enough to have an account on Yahoo and not know this? Do you also not know how to tie your own shoelaces or how to lift spoonfulls of oatmeal from your bowl to your mouth?

    If something belong to the Smith family, it's the Smiths'. If it belongs to one of them, it's Mr. Smith's. If you just want to refer to all of them without using a possessive, they're called the Smiths. See? Even a child can do this, child.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    It should be the Smiths' car because there is more than one smith in the family so it's their car

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I think that is a real problem

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