Buses or Bus’s or Bus’? (Correct Possessive Explained)

The plural and possessive form for “bus” can be tricky to understand. When we come across nouns like “bus” that ends with an “S,” we are left questioning whether we’re able to follow the same standard possessive rules or not. This article will explain all of your concerns!

Buses or Bus’s or Bus’: Which Is The Correct Possessive Form?

“Bus’s” is the correct possessive form for the noun “bus.” We add an apostrophe and an “S” to the end of the word (as we would expect with most possessive forms). However, if the following word starts with an “S,” we can remove the “S” to leave us with “bus’.”

Buses or Bus's or Bus': Which Is The Correct Possessive Form?

These are the singular and plural forms we need to know (along with the possessive forms you can expect to see):

SingularBus
PluralBuses
Singular possessiveBus’s
Plural possessiveBuses’

“Bus” and “bus’s” are the singular forms. We only need to add an apostrophe and an “S” when writing it in this way.

The plural form follows similar rules, where “buses” is the plural, and “buses'” is the plural possessive. However, the “S” after the apostrophe is dropped here to aid with reader pronunciation, which we’ll get to later.

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Buses

“Buses” is where we’ll start in this article. It’ll help you to understand how the plural form works first before we even consider the possessive options.

“Buses” is the plural form of “bus.” We use it when talking about more than one “bus” in the sentence. However, there is no possessed object relevant to the sentence when used in this way.

Like most plural forms, we use “buses” when listing more than one bus. It’s a simple form to use, and we add an “-es” to the end of the singular noun “bus.” This is done because “bus” already ends in an “S,” so we need to identify a more readable plural form.

The following examples will show you how the plural form works;

  1. The buses around my city are always late.
  2. I have to catch two different buses before I can arrive at school.
  3. I missed both of the buses that were supposed to stop here.
  4. There are so many buses in my local area, and it’s hard to choose my favorite one!
  5. Which of these buses do you take on your way to work?

“Buses” only ever refers to more than one “bus.”

Bus’s

The first possessive form we’ll touch on is the singular possessive “bus’s.”

“Bus’s” is correct when one “bus” owns an object in a sentence. “Bus” is the subject, and the noun that directly follows it becomes the possessed object of the phrase.

The rules here are fairly self-explanatory. We add an “‘s” to the end of “bus” to indicate that it’s the plural form.

Here’s how it looks:

  1. The bus’s passengers had to get off one stop early.
  2. This is the bus’s intended destination, but I don’t think it’ll be here any time soon.
  3. The bus’s new driver was late to the station.
  4. We have to find the bus’s new route before we end up going toward the closed roads!
  5. The bus’s wheels are busted!

“Bus’s” is correct whenever we include the object after the phrase. It means that a “bus” owns the object.

There is also an instance where the “S” is dropped after the apostrophe.

  • Bus’ station
  • Bus’ second passenger

Whenever the next word after “bus’s” starts with an “S,” we remove the “S” after the apostrophe. This is done to help with pronunciation of the combination, which would be too hard for many readers if all of the “S” letters are kept in.

Buses’

The plural possessive form isn’t always as common as the singular possessive form. Still, it follows much of the same rules, as you’re about to find out.

“Buses'” is the correct form for the plural possessive of “bus.” We take the plural form “buses” and add an apostrophe to the end to show that multiple “buses” own an object or group of objects in the sentence.

We don’t include the extra “S” after the apostrophe here because “buses” already has two “S” letters with the two syllables in the word. One more “S” would become a mouthful for many readers. Imagine trying to pronounce “buses’s.”

Instead, we drop it, and we’re left with the following:

  1. Which of these buses’ new routes do you think is going to be the most effective?
  2. All of my buses’ drivers are kind and always greet me with a smile.
  3. You should find out which of the buses’ windscreens needs fixing so you know whether you’ve got the job.
  4. I think we should look into the buses’ timetables a little more to know when they’re coming.
  5. The buses’ streets are always the same because they’re forced to follow the same routes.

“Buses'” works when multiple “buses” own the same object or group of objects in a sentence. It’s not as common as the singular possessive form, but it is still grammatically correct.

Quiz: Have You Mastered Buses or Bus’s or Bus’?

A quiz will help you to understand a little more about the different forms of the word. We’ll include the answers after this section so you can compare what you’ve got.

  1. The (A. buses / B. bus’s / C. bus’) timetable is all over the place!
  2. Which of the (A. buses / B. bus’s / C. bus’) around this city can I take to get home?
  3. We should be riding on one of the other (A. buses / B. bus’s / C. bus’)!
  4. I need to find the (A. buses / B. bus’s / C. bus’) second stop because I think that’s where she’s waiting for me!
  5. This is the (A. buses / B. bus’s / C. bus’) only departure for the day.

Quiz answers

  1. B
  2. A
  3. A
  4. C
  5. B

Final Thoughts

“Bus’s” is the correct possessive form in most cases, and we use it to talk about one “bus” owning an object in a sentence. There are exceptions where “bus'” is correct, but only when the next word starts with an “S.” “Buses'” is correct when talking about “buses” in plural.

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