When using the possessive form, we also need to pay attention to the singular and plural forms. These forms make it slightly more tricky than you might first realize. This article will look at the possessive form of “other” and how you can use it.
Others or Other’s or Others’: Which Is The Correct Possessive Form?
“Other’s” is the correct possessive form of “other,” and we use it when we want to talk about “other” in the singular possessive form being in ownership of an object in the sentence. While there is a plural possessive form in the shape of “others’,” it’s very uncommon.
We can see all the forms of “other” in the following ways:
It’s correct to use “others” as the plural and “other’s” to talk about the singular possessive. You can use “others’” as a plural possessive, but it’s much more likely that you’ll require a secondary noun for this to make sense (i.e. “other people’s”).
“Others” is the easiest of the group to understand. It’s only the plural form, meaning we’re talking about more than one “other” in the sentence.
The plural form just shows that there are multiple instances of “other.” We don’t talk about any possessions or objects; we just list the “others” that we know and are talking about.
- The others will be arriving shortly if you’d like to wait by the door.
- How many others are there, Jonny?
- Where are all the others? I was told there would be more.
- Did you already tell me how many others would be joining us?
- The others are supposed to be on their way.
- Where can I find the others? I was told that they’d be here.
“Others” only refers to the plural form of “other.” It comes with no possessions, meaning no object is required in the sentence.
We typically use it when we want to find the “other” people or objects in the context. It’s a way of trying to figure out where certain things are.
“Other’s” is the singular possessive form. It works well when talking about an “other” in possession of something. However, there are a few things to mention.
You will most likely not use “other’s” as a possessive form unless you’re talking about “each other” or “one and the other.” Usually, we talk about a pair of people, in which case “other” is still used in the singular form, hence the possessive being “other’s.”
“Other’s” is certainly an exception to a lot of the expected rules in English. When talking about multiple people (like with “each other”), you’d expect to use it in the plural sense, but this just isn’t the case.
- They have each other’s back always.
- He knew that he couldn’t find the other’s network before the end of the day.
- Why do you care about each other’s feelings so much?
- My time is short, but the other’s time is long enough to get this done right.
- We care deeply about each other’s families.
- We each have the other’s belongings, but no one has mentioned that yet!
Even though “each other” is a singular phrase, we use it to talk about two people. It’s possible only to use “other’s” in this case.
“Other’s” doesn’t see much common usage. In fact, it’s rare to see it used in any case in English besides with “each other,” where we group two or more people together. Still, it’s handy to understand how it works and how to use it.
Finally, there’s the plural possessive form. It’s not particularly common, and you won’t find many native speakers using it. However, it still works in some cases.
“Others'” is correct when we want to show that multiple “other” people or things share the same common ground. It’s rare to see on its own, and we usually require a secondary plural noun to help explain it.
You might see it in the following context:
- We will look at the others’ houses.
However, this is a very strange sentence structure, and it’s not common for people to use it in this way. Instead, you might hear:
- We will look at the other people’s houses.
Here, “other people” becomes the plural form, and we add the apostrophe and “S” after that fact.
While “others’” isn’t a common choice, it’s still correct. Perhaps these examples will help you with it:
- We want to learn from the others’ families.
- You should visit the others’ farms when you get a chance.
- They talk about the others’ feelings.
- It was ridiculous for the others’ ideas to be disregarded.
- How can we compete with the others’ competitive spirits?
- You should see the others’ houses.
You might be looking at those sentences and think they look quite strange or have something missing. That’s because they often do. Not many people will use “others’” in this form, and a plural noun is usually accepted right after “other.”
Quiz: Have You Mastered Others Or Other’s Or Others’?
A quiz might help you to understand a little more about the word and how the possessive form works. Hopefully, if you’ve paid close attention to this article, you’ll have a much better understanding of the answers to these questions.
- They saw each (A. others / B. other’s / C. others’) phones go off and thought nothing of it.
- The (A. others / B. other’s / C. others’) should be arriving at some point in the near future.
- How many (A. others / B. other’s / C. others’) are there going to be?
- We need to see each (A. others / B. other’s / C. others’) bank statements before we can trust again.
- You should have seen the (A. others / B. other’s / C. others’) houses! They were great!
We can use “other’s” as the most standard possessive form of “other.” It works when we’re talking about the singular possessive in many cases. “Others’” works as a plural possessive form, but it’s more common to see things like “other people’s” or “other things’.”
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.