Sometimes the plural words that end in letters other than s give students trouble, but they really shouldn’t. These words follow the same rule just described. In other words, whether something belongs to one man or to two men, you’ll show possession in the same way—by adding -’s. Why? Because neither man nor men already ends in -s before you make it possessive. They both end in n. These are correct examples: the man’s motive, the men’s motive, the woman’s car, the women’s cars. This rule holds true for all the plural nouns that end in -men and for nouns such as people, children, mice, and geese.

Exercise 6.8

Write sentences in which you make possessive phrases from the following. Add an apostrophe or an apostrophe plus -s as needed. Use your own paper, please.

1. the duties of one librarian

the duties of two librarians

2. the excitement of the child

the excitement of the children

3. the shoes of the dancer

the shoes of both dancers

4. the pet chameleon of one boy

the pet chameleons of three boys

5. the history of the family

the histories of the two families

6. the schedule of the woman

the schedules of the women

7. the images of the poet

the images of many poets

8. the carrots belonging to one rabbit

the carrots belonging to all the rabbits

9. the performance of one drummer

the performance of the drummers

10. the trips of the businessman

the trips of the businessmen

Exercise 6.9

Change these phrases into ones that require an apostrophe or an apostrophe plus -s. For example:

The personality of my brother = my brother’s personality

1. the priorities of the mayor = ___________

2. the training of the pilots = ___________

3. the comic talents of Jerry Seinfeld = ___________

4. the game plan of the coaches = ___________

5. the ice-cream sandwiches of the vendor =

6. the toys belonging to the babies = ___________

7. the agreement of the friends = ___________

8. the voice of Whitney Houston = ___________

9. the role of Rob Morrow in Northern Exposure = ___________

10. the role of the clowns in the circus = ___________