The possessive form of “agency” is something we might come across in writing. It would help you understand the correct possessive forms in both the singular and plural. This article will explain both cases to help you out.
Agencies or Agency’s or Agencies’: Which Is The Correct Possessive Form?
“Agency’s” is the correct possessive form when talking about one “agency” owning an object (the singular form). “Agencies'” is the correct possessive form when talking about multiple “agencies” owning an object (the plural form). The apostrophe rules are standard in each case.
It might help you to see this information to understand more about “agency” and its forms:
When using the singular possessive form, we simply add an “‘s” to its end. The plural possessive form adds an apostrophe with the “S” at the end, which is an expected format for most English nouns.
We’ll start by exploring the plural form. There is no possession involved when using this form, but we still think it’s important to cover (especially when we get to the plural possessive form).
“Agencies” is the plural form of “agency.” We use it to talk about more than one “agency” in the sentence. However, there is no ownership mentioned when writing “agencies” in this way.
We can tell that it’s not a possessive form because no apostrophe is used. Since it’s a standard English noun, an apostrophe is the easiest way we can tell whether we’re writing in the possessive form.
Since we’re not, these examples will show you what “agencies” is used for:
- The agencies gathered to figure out what their next steps were.
- I am a member of three different agencies.
- These agencies are all competing for the same goal.
- My agencies will not back out of a deal so easily!
- Your agencies are worthless compared to mine.
“Agencies” simply refers to more than one “agency.”
The singular possessive form is up next. We can use this only when talking about one specific “agency.”
“Agency’s” is the singular possessive form. We use this when talking about one “agency” owning an object in a sentence. The object usually comes directly after “agency” to show the reader what is owned by that particular “agency.”
You might see a possessive form combined with an object like so:
- The agency’s employees
“Agency’s” is the possessive, and “employees” is the possessed object.
We must always include the “‘s” ending after the singular form “agency” when showing that the “agency” owns something. It’s the only way to establish the possessive form in English.
These examples will show you how that possessive form works best:
- The agency’s advocates are somewhere in this building, and we must flush them out.
- The agency’s agenda is something that I don’t agree with.
- My agency’s protocol isn’t something that you should take lightly.
- The agency’s new initiative is an impressive display of its power.
- His agency’s time has come, and there isn’t much he can do to prevent it from imploding.
“Agency’s” works to refer to one “agency” owning an object. Remember, the object comes directly after “agency’s” in every case.
While not always as common, the plural possessive form offers us another opportunity to talk about ownership of certain objects. We can use “agencies'” for such a case.
“Agencies'” is the plural possessive form. We use this to talk about multiple “agencies” owning the same object or a group of similar objects in a sentence. The same object position rules apply, where it comes directly after “agencies’.”
Unlike the singular possessive form, the plural possessive form only uses an apostrophe. The extra “S” letter is always dropped. We do this to help with readability when writing the plural possessive form.
If we didn’t, we’d end up with the following:
As you can see, the double “S” at the end (with an apostrophe between) is too difficult to pronounce. Most people simply say “agencies” when saying both the plural and plural possessive form, which is why we keep it simple and only write it with one apostrophe.
This rule is found throughout many other English words, and it helps to know what the main difference is between most key nouns in the singular and plural forms.
These examples will really help to hammer in your new knowledge:
- All of the agencies’ employees are gathering to talk about a giant collaboration.
- Both of the agencies’ codes aren’t up to par with what’s expected of them.
- Those agencies’ bosses are in need of urgent upgrades to their systems.
- All agencies’ projects have fallen apart as if someone has sabotaged them all.
- The agencies’ keen eyes are what has gotten them all of the clients they’ve been looking for.
We can use “agencies'” when talking about multiple “agencies” owning the same object or similar objects in a sentence. It’s common for the object to follow the plural possessive form to be plural itself.
Quiz: Have You Mastered Agencies or Agency’s or Agencies’?
You might benefit from a quiz to test your knowledge, so we’ll include one here. The answers will come after this section but test yourself first to see how well you’ve picked up on what we’ve told you throughout this article.
- The (A. agencies / B. agency’s / C. agencies’) people are coming to talk to us this evening.
- All of the (A. agencies / B. agency’s / C. agencies’) are gathered in one spot for a meeting.
- The (A. agencies / B. agency’s / C. agencies’) best guys are on the job.
- All (A. agencies / B. agency’s / C. agencies’) proposals have been rejected by one common player.
- There aren’t enough (A. agencies / B. agency’s / C. agencies’) out there to help you with this issue!
We can use “agency’s” as the singular possessive form and “agencies'” as the plural possessive form. Remember to include the apostrophes in both forms, with the addition of an “S” only in the singular possessive form to show ownership of an object.
You may also like: Geeses or Geese’s or Geeses’? (Correct Possessive Explained)
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.