Possessive forms look confusing at first glance. Luckily, they’re not that hard to figure out. This article will look into “kids,” “kid’s,” and “kids'” and how you can figure out the differences between them.
You won’t have to worry about being wrong by the end of this!
Kids or Kids’ or Kid’s?
“Kids” is only correct when using the plural form (i.e. “many kids”). You should use “kids'” as the plural possessive form. Here, many kids own an object (i.e. “the kids’ clothing section”). “Kid’s” is the singular possessive form, where only one kid owns an object (i.e. “that kid’s meal”).
Here’s a breakdown of all the relevant forms:
While the plural, singular possessive, and plural possessive all have the same letters, they aren’t used in the same way.
Adding an “‘s” to the end of the singular form (kid) creates the singular possessive form. An apostrophe must always be present in a noun when it owns another object. Without an apostrophe, you’re probably using the plural form (kids).
Adding an apostrophe to the end of the plural form (kids) creates the plural possessive form. An “s” does not follow the apostrophe here. Grammar rules teach us that “kids’s” would not fit in most written sentences. It’s far too jarring for most readers.
“Kid’s” is the simpler possessive form of the two presented here. “Kid’s” is the singular possessive form, where only one “kid” owns an object or group of objects.
You can place the owned object before or after “kid’s.” It depends on the context of your sentence and where the object makes the most sense.
- The kid’s toy was broken in the scrap. I can’t believe how upset he got about it.
- This kid’s ideas are something else! He’s a genius, and he’s barely even three!
The above examples demonstrate what it looks like when the object comes after the possessive form.
Here is how you might find the object before the possessive form:
- The toy is my kid’s.
“Kids'” is the plural possessive form. You can refer to the use of the apostrophe here to double-check that it’s able to modify another noun to show ownership.
“Kids'” works when many kids own the same object or group of objects. The object doesn’t need to be directly held by a “kid” for it to be owned by them.
For example, you might say, “the kids’ school.” Obviously, none of the kids that go to the school owns the building or can physically hold it. It implies that they all go to school as a group of “kids” instead.
- The kids’ menu is all over the place. I doubt my son will want to eat anything from this.
- I have to take you to the kids’ clothing store. We need to find you something new to fit into.
“Kids” has no possession involved in it. It’s a plural noun, meaning many kids are referred to at once. You should not include any owned objects after “kids” in this form. It is not grammatically correct to do so.
The plural form of most regular nouns (including “kid”) simply adds an “s” to the end of the singular form. “Kids” implies that more than one “kid” is present.
- He has many kids to work with at the school. I’m worried that things won’t go well for him.
- What about all of his kids? Are you going to leave them behind by the end of this?
“Kids” is the plural form. You do not need to worry about possessing an object in this form.
“Kid’s” is the singular possessive form. Only one kid owns an item when this form is used. The object can come before or after “kid’s.”
“Kids'” is the plural possessive form. Here the object always comes after “kids’,” but it shows that many kids own the same object.
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.