Grammar rules surrounding possessive forms might seem confusing at first glance. Once you’ve had a bit of practice with them, they tend to get a lot easier.
This article will explore the correct possessive forms associated with “baby.”
Babies or Babies’ or Baby’s?
“Baby” is the singular form, leading to “babies” in the plural form. “Baby’s” is the singular possessive form, meaning that one “baby” owns an object. “Babies'” is the plural possessive form. It’s similar, but it refers to multiple “babies” owning the same object or group of objects.
Check this out for the easiest reminder of “baby” and all its forms:
“Baby” isn’t a regular noun when it goes from singular to plural form. “Baby” ends with a “y,” meaning you have to change the ending to an “-ies” when referring to multiple “babies.” Other than that, the possessive forms follow standard rules.
The singular form adds an “‘s” to the end of “baby.” This is simple enough, meaning that “baby’s” shows one baby owning an object.
The plural forms add an apostrophe after the plural form “babies.” “Babies” already has an “s” at the end when it’s pluralized, meaning that a repeated “s” after the apostrophe would look out of place (think about it; “babies’s” does look strange).
“Babies” is the plural form of “baby.” Remember, you must turn a “y” into an “-ies” ending when going from the singular form to the plural form.
This is standard practice for most nouns ending with “Y.” For example, you would also say:
- Lady and ladies
- Worry and worries
“Babies” does not show possession in any way. It is only the plural form, meaning that you’re referring to more than one “baby” in your writing.
- I’m not sure how many babies I want to have yet. I’m hoping I’ll figure that out as time goes on.
- What about all the babies? Aren’t you worried that something will go wrong?
“Babies'” comes from the plural form but allows possession to occur. You should use “babies'” when multiple babies own items in the sentence you’re writing about. It’s common for such items to appear after “Babies'” (i.e. “the babies’ mothers”).
You’ll often find the owned noun in the plural form after “babies.” This shows that multiple different objects are owned in the same group.
- Why can’t we see all the babies’ mothers yet? Why do we have to wait around for this?
- The babies’ support group is very important to us. It helps us understand what our babies need.
“Baby’s” comes from the singular form. Again, possession comes into play when this form is used. “Baby’s” is the singular possessive form, meaning that a single “baby” owns an item or group of items.
As with the plural possessive form, the item is most commonly found after “baby’s” (for example, “baby’s crib”).
- Do you have the baby’s medication? I need to give it to him before it’s too late.
- The baby’s cot is in the corner. Please, place her down gently, so you don’t harm her.
“Babies” is the plural form and nothing more. Do not use it when you want to show possession.
To show possession, you have two options.
“Baby’s” shows that one “baby” owns an object. This is the singular possessive form.
“Babies'” shows that multiple “babies” own an object. This is the plural possessive form. Do not get the singular and plural possessive forms confused.
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.