Mammoth Memory

Apostrophes that show possession

You use an apostrophe of possession to show that a person or thing belongs or relates to someone or something.


Apostrophes show expression

The cat’s dish

The letters before the apostrophe actually tell you whether the dish is owned by one cat or several cats. This is why the apostrophe’s position is so important.

The cat possesses a dish


“The cat’s dish” refers to just one cat owning a dish, with the apostrophe before the final “s”.

 There are many cats dishes its cats'

To show that several cats own dishes, you would write: “The cats’ dishes”, with the apostrophe after the “s”.


“The butcher’s shop” (the shop that belongs to the butcher).

“I lost my dog’s lead” (I lost the lead belonging to my dog).

“The lady’s car” refers to a car belonging to one lady.

“The ladies’ car” means a car that belongs to a number of ladies.

“Mrs Jones’s house” means the house that belongs to Mrs Jones.

“The Joneses’ house” means the house that belongs to a number of people called Jones, probably a family.

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