Individual’s or Individuals’? (Correct Plural Possessive)

“Individual” refers to one person. “Individuals” refers to more than one person. This is the basic idea behind singular and plural forms. On top of that, you’ve got to know how to create the possessive form with them. This article will help you understand the plural possessive for “individuals.”

Individual’s or Individuals’: Which Is the Correct Possessive Form?

“Individuals'” is the correct plural possessive form of “individual.” You should take the plural form (individuals) and add an apostrophe to the end of it. This shows that more than one “individual” owns an object. “Individual’s” is the singular possessive form.

Individuals possessive

This table should clear up a few of the differences straight away:

Singular Individual
Plural Individuals
Singular possessive Individual’s
Plural possessive Individuals’

Once you know the basics of the possessive form, it’s not all that difficult to use it. For regular nouns like “individual,” you follow standardised possessive rules.

To create the singular possessive form, you take the singular form (individual) and add an “‘s” to the end. This is used to show ownership. An object will almost always come after “individual’s” to show what is owned (i.e. “an individual’s idea”).

For the plural possessive form, you start with the plural form (individuals). This time, you only add an apostrophe because “Individuals” already ends with an “s.” This shows that multiple “individuals” own an object (i.e. “individuals’ needs”).


You can use “individuals” when referring to multiple instances of an “individual.” In simplest terms, this means that you are talking about one person.

“Individuals” is the plural form of “individual.” It is not a possessive form, so you cannot include an object directly after it. It simply shows that multiple “individuals” are in the sentence.

Here are some examples to show you how to use “individuals” in a sentence:

  • I don’t care how many individuals you have to talk to. I want to hear the truth, and I want to hear it fast.
  • You should have seen how many individuals disagreed with them. I had no idea that people were so passionate.
  • Individuals like him are the reason why we can’t have nice things. I doubt we’ll ever change their mind now.
  • She told me that multiple individuals had signed up for the exam. I didn’t realise how many until this moment.
  • We were among the individuals that took part. Do you have any information for us that might help us?


“Individual’s” is the singular possessive form. This form is used when one individual owns an object or group of similar objects. The apostrophe and “s” at the end of the singular form help to signify ownership.

Whenever you see an apostrophe in a noun like this, you should assume that it is the possessive form. It’s common for an object to come directly after the noun to help the reader understand what it owns (i.e. “individual’s needs”).

These examples will help you to figure out how to use “individual’s” in a sentence:

  • One individual’s needs will not outweigh everyone else’s needs. We can’t let that happen. I’m sorry.
  • That individual’s mother will be coming to town tomorrow. You have to make her feel welcome, okay?
  • I’m talking to the individual’s guardian right now. I think I will get through to them and help them move on.
  • We met the individual’s needs earlier this week. We do not have to worry about helping him again.
  • This is an individual’s life that we’re talking about! We can’t just leave her to suffer alone!


“Individuals'” is the plural possessive form, relating to multiple individuals owning an object. It’s common for the plural possessive form to be used when multiple “individuals” own the same object or a group of similar objects.

Like the singular form, “individuals'” is often followed by an object. This helps the reader identify the ownership straight away (i.e. “individuals’ wants”).

The apostrophe is used again here to signify the possessive form.

Unlike the singular possessive form, “individuals'” does not include an extra “s” after the apostrophe. There is no need to include it because “individuals” already ends with an “s.” An extra one would make it much harder to read.

Check out these examples to show you how to use “individuals'” in a sentence:

  • Many individuals’ livelihoods will have to change. I don’t see any way for us to stop this from happening.
  • The individuals’ needs have been lined up for us to address. I don’t know how many of them will listen to us.
  • What about all the individuals’ lives that we will affect here? What are we supposed to tell them to make them feel better?
  • I’m not talking about the individuals’ ideas behind this. Everyone had something to say. I can’t isolate that information.
  • Those individuals’ memories have been wiped. I’m not sure how it was done, but it was clear.


“Individuals’s” is never correct. When using the plural possessive form, you should not include an extra “s” after the apostrophe.

The extra “s” makes it more difficult to pronounce the plural possessive form. This is true in most plural possessive cases, as it removes the direct connection between the noun and the object that is owned.

You’ve likely made a mistake if you use an “s” after the apostrophe to refer to multiple nouns. You should review the possessive form before continuing to ensure the “s” is supposed to be there.

“Individuals’s” should never have a repeated “s,” and these examples will show you why:

  • Correct: I am the individual’s representative. Anything you want to say to them can be said to me.
  • Incorrect: I’m talking to the individuals’s partners right now. I’ll get to the bottom of the situation.
  • Correct: Those individuals’ hopes and dreams hang in the balance. Don’t take those away.
  • Incorrect: As the individuals’s address was leaked, we need to do something to protect them.

Final Thoughts

“Individual’s” and “individuals'” are both possessive forms. You should use “individual’s” as the singular possessive form. Here, only one “individual” owns an object. “Individuals'” is the plural possessive form. This works when multiple “individuals” own an object or group of objects.