Possessive nouns can be pretty tricky to grasp at first when you’re trying to understand English better. It’s made even more challenging when you’re thrown a word that ends with “s.” In some cases, it seems like you add an apostrophe, while in others, it seems like you add an “s” and an apostrophe. But what is right?
Is It Chris’s Or Chris’?
The correct possessive of Chris is both “Chris’s” and “Chris’,” though you’ll find that “Chris'” is more common and used more often. Many people don’t like the look of “Chris’s” written down, as the two “s” letters are basically touching each other, and it doesn’t sit right with them. However, depending on the style that you’re writing with, both ways are correct.
Chris’s Or Chris’ According To The Associated Press Stylebook
Let’s look first at the rules according to the Associated Press Stylebook. It’s more common to follow the rules of this and their rules state that any nouns (including names) that end in “s” only get an apostrophe in the possessive form with no extra “s” on the end. If you’re using the AP style to write, and want to say that “Chris” is in possession of something, then you must say “Chris’.” Let’s check some examples for clarity.
- Chris’ books are over there.
- That’s Chris’ dog.
- Where is Chris’ father?
- I’m Chris’ brother.
- She was Chris’ girlfriend.
Chris’s Or Chris’ According To The Microsoft Manual Of Style And The Chicago Manual Of Style
However, you’re using a different writing style; you might come across a different style for the possessive of “Chris” entirely. The Microsoft Manual of Style and the Chicago Manual of Style recommends that singular nouns (including names) need an apostrophe and an “s” when they’re in the possessive form.
- Chris’s dog died last week.
- That’s Chris’s kid.
- Where did Chris’s money go?
- Why haven’t we met Chris’s parents?
- I need to find Chris’s bike.
Is There A Preference For Chris’s Or Chris’ In Either American English Or British English?
There is a difference between using “Chris’s” and “Chris'” in American and British English. It’s more common to find “Chris’s” in British English and more common for “Chris'” to appear in American English. British English use different style guides for their nouns ending in “s,” which is why it’s more common for them to include the “‘s” at the end.
However, as time goes on, it seems that “Chris’s” is becoming the more popular choice even in America. Language evolves, and it makes sense that American English has started to adopt the “Chris’s” as it’s now seen as a more direct and easy-to-understand way of showing the possessive of any noun ending in “s.”
If I Am Not From Either The UK Or The US – Should I Write Chris’s Or Chris’?
If you’re not from the UK or the US and are from a non-English speaking country, then you’ll have more luck writing “Chris’s” instead of “Chris’.” The reason for this is because “Chris’s” is growing in popularity anyway, so you’ll find that soon enough, everyone will be using “Chris’s” as the possessive form. Also, it’s worth noting that most countries outside of the US that speak English will adopt the British English writing rules.
Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand all use British English to write and speak, meaning they’ll also use “Chris’s” over anything else. So, if you want to be using the right form, use “Chris’s.” Though, if you’re not fond of how it looks, you wouldn’t be incorrect for using “Chris'” instead.
Does The Rule Apply To Possessive Forms Of Nouns?
Let’s quickly touch on other nouns before we leave. Does the same rule apply to all possessive forms of nouns? Well, no, it doesn’t. The rule only applies to nouns that end in “s.” If you’re using the AP stylebook, you should use an apostrophe after ALL nouns that end in “s” to show the possessive form. However, if the nouns don’t end in “s,” you need to use an apostrophe and an “s” to show ownership.
You’ll figure it out as you learn more. Trust us when we say it gets a lot easier. Just remember that an “s” at the end of the noun is the only time you have to worry about these different rules.
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.