Parents or Parent’s or Parents’? Correct Possessive (Helpful Examples)

How and when to use the different forms of parent’s or and parents’ can get confusing because it all depends on the context of the sentence. In this case, there is some slight awkwardness because the singular form of parent usually replaces with the name of which parent the subject is referring to. They might say, “My mother.” Or “My father.” Very rarely would a person say, “My parent.” Even though the singular form of a parent is awkward to use, for the purposes of understanding the singular possessive and plural possessive forms of parent, it is good to clarify the meanings of each.

To begin to understand when to use parents, parent’s and parents’ we need to start at the beginning and clarify the definition of parent. For our purposes, in this article, we will focus on the definition of parent as a noun. A parent is a member of the family, either a mother or father and sometimes an ancestor. Parent is the singular version of the noun, meaning only one.

Example:

Singular- I have one parent chaperone at the zoo.

The plural form of parent is parents. That means there is more than one parent.

Example:

Plural- Bob and Sally are my parents.

Is it Parent’s or Parents’ or Parents?

When you spell a word that ends with ‘s and s’ the apostrophe indicates that the noun is possessive. Meaning the object belongs to the subject. Use the spelling -parent’s when you are referring to the singular possessive form of parent. Use the spelling -parents’ when you are referring to the plural possessive form of parents.

SingularParent
PluralParents
Singular possessiveParent’s
Plural possessiveParents’

The singular possessive form of parent is – parent’s.

Example:

My parent’s coat is on the table.

In this sentence, we understand that the coat belongs to one parent.

The plural possessive form of parents is – parents’

Example:

My parents’ dog is staying with us for two weeks.

In this sentence, the reader understands that the dog belongs to both parents and is staying at someone’s house.

Plural form of Parent is- parents

The “S” is added at the end of the base word parent and means that there is more than one parent.

Example:

My parents are staying with my sister for the holidays.

In this sentence, we understand that both parents are staying with the sister.

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5 Examples of Parent’s

The singular possessive form of the noun parent is parent’s.

My parent’s coat is on the table in the kitchen.

Sue’s parent’s lab test is now available.

This is my parent’s house. (Meaning belonging to one parent)

Bob’s parent’s fundraiser is at Town Hall.

5 Examples of Parent’s

The plural possessive form of the noun, parents, is parents’.

My parents’ car is in the repair shop.

My parents’ dog loves to go for long walks in the park.

This is my parents’ house. (Meaning belonging to both parents)

Sue is in love with my parents’ garden.

5 Examples of Parents

My parents are attending the school play tomorrow night.

How many parents want to chaperone the school field trip?

Did your parents select a weekend to visit you at college?

John’s parents are away on vacation.

My parents love to travel in Europe.

Plural Possessive Rule Explained

The plural possessive rule means that when a plural noun like parents, kittens, or girls, needs to show ownership or possession of an object, there needs to be a clear way to write it. In the English language, the plural possessive rule places an apostrophe after the S. For example -parents’ house, kittens’ toy, and girls’ coats. If you added another apostrophe S to the plural noun, it just would not look right or sound right. There is no need to add another S because one is already there at the end of a plural noun.

Take the Quiz: Have you Mastered Parent’s and Parents’?

Select the correct word to complete each sentence.

The answers are in the section listed below

  1. The singular possessive form or parent is (A parents / B parent’s / C parents’)
  2. How many (A parents / B parent’s / C parents’) are at the PTA meeting?
  3. Jade’s (A parents / B parent’s / C parents’) car is being fixed. (plural)
  4. Which of Bob’s (A parents / B parent’s C parents’) are going on a business trip?
  5. Claire’s (A parents / B parent’s / C parents’) sweater is in my bedroom. (singular)

Quiz Answers

  1. B
  2. A
  3. C
  4. A
  5. B

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