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Using an Apostrophe for Joint Possession

Apostrophe for Joint Possession

homesitemappunctuation using an apostrophe for joint possession
Joint possession or ownership is shown by making the last word in the series possessive. For example:
  • Jack and Jill's dogs.
Individual ownership is shown by making both (or all) parts possessive.
  • Jack's and Jill's dogs.

Table of Contents

  • Examples of Joint and Individual Ownership
  • Test Time!
showing joint and individual ownership with apostrophes

Examples of Joint and Individual Ownership

Here are some examples of how possessive nouns are written to show joint and individual ownership:
  • Mary and Susan's apartment correct tick (joint ownership)
  • (Note that only the last part is possessive.)
  • Mary's and Susan's apartment correct tick (individual ownership)
  • (This is an example of individual ownership. Note that both parts are possessive.)
    (Without context, it will be assumed that Mary has one apartment and Susan has one apartment. Another construction is required if this is not the case. "Mary's apartment and Susan's apartment" is one option.)
  • Russia and Ukraine's problems correct tick (joint ownership)
  • (This is the construction when the problems are common to both.)
  • Russia's and Ukraine's problems correct tick (individual ownership)
  • (This is the construction for separate problems.)
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This page was written by Craig Shrives.

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