Getting the correct version for a singular and plural possessive word can be a challenge for anyone, and it’s no different when you look at a word like “classes.” There seems to be a bit of confusion among some people that makes them throw in apostrophes in the wrong places, but luckily we’re here to help!
Classes’ Or Class’s Or Class’ – What Is The Difference?
The correct possessive is “classes'” if you’re talking about the plural possessive of “class,” while “class’s” is the singular possessive of “class.” If you want to use the correct syntax, then “class'” is wrong. Since “class” is a singular noun ending in “s,” you need to add an apostrophe and an “s” to the end of it when it turns into a possessive noun.
Hopefully, that’s cleared up most of the problems you might have had. Apostrophe placement can be tricky for most people, though, so don’t worry if you’re struggling at the minute.
Tips To Remember The Difference
When it comes to remembering the difference, you don’t have to come up with insanely complicated tips to get you there. Instead, remember this in the simplest terms you can.
“Classes” is already the plural of “class.” Like most nouns that end in “s,” you add an “es” on the end to make it plural. You don’t even need an apostrophe yet.
When you get to the possessive form, that’s when you need to add apostrophes. If you’re unsure what the possessive form means, it’s basically when a noun is given ownership of something within a sentence. Something like “the class’s trip” is a good example, with “class’s” being the possessive of the singular form “class” and “trip” being the object that “class” is in possession of.
The same goes for “classes’.” You don’t need to add the apostrophe to the plural form of “class” until it becomes the possessive form. So, “the classes’ trip” makes sense for this clause. In this instance, multiple “classes” are in possession of the “trip.”
Examples Of “Classes'”
Let’s take a look at a few examples using the plural possessive form “classes’.” Here, you’ll see how you can use it in a sentence, with each object in the sentence being owned by the classes in question.
- The classes’ trips are going to be amazing.
Multiple “classes” are going on multiple trips, so the “classes'” plural possessive form is used to own the trips.
- The middle and upper classes’ differences never change.
Here, both “the middle and upper classes” are used to pluralize the word “class.” They possess the object “differences.”
- It’s the classes’ dream to have an end-of-year performance.
Finally, multiple “classes” possess the “dream” to perform, so the apostrophe is used in the manner shown above.
Examples Of “Class’s”
Now, let’s see how the sentences can change from above when we only talk about the singular possessive.
- The class’s trip is going to be amazing.
We see that only one “class” is going on the “trip,” so the singular possessive is used.
- The middle class’s differences are apparent.
Again, we’re only referring to the “middle class” here, keeping it singular. The “differences” are still used as the possessed object, though.
- The class’s students want an end-of-year performance.
Finally, only the students from one “class” want the end-of-year performance, meaning that “class’s” is kept in the singular possessive. In this scenario, though, the “class” is possessing the “students.”
Quiz – Classes’ Or Class’s Or Class’
Let’s finish up with a quick quiz to see what we’ve learned! Hopefully, you’ve picked up on all the information that we’ve laid out for you and now have a much better understanding of when what apostrophe type needs to be used. Remember your syntax rules, too, as one of these may just be a red herring!
- The (A. classes’ / B. class’s / C. class’) students are coming home.
- The (A. classes’ / B. class’s / C. class’) dreams are coming true.
- The working and middle (A. classes’ / B. class’s / C. class’) needs aren’t that different.
- Only the middle (A. classes’ / B. class’s / C. class’) wages were changed because of it.
- The (A. classes’ / B. class’s / C. class’) trip was so much fun.
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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.