Ross’ or Ross’s? (Correct Possessive Form)

Whenever you’re writing possessive forms with people’s names, you typically add an “‘s” to the end of it. The rules associated with this will depend on the stylebook and the name you use. This article will explore how to use “Ross” in the possessive form correctly.

Ross’ or Ross’s: Which is the Correct Possessive Form?

“Ross'” is grammatically correct when using the AP Stylebook rules. It should be written like this to remove the extra “s” after the apostrophe. “Ross’s” is correct when using the Chicago Manual of Style, where the “s” helps clarify the possessive form.

ross' or ross's

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “Ross’s” is the most popular possessive form in English. Both forms are correct, but it’s entirely dependent on which stylebook you use.

ross' or ross's usage

The extra “s” after the apostrophe is entirely dependent on the writing style you are most comfortable with.

When To Use Ross’

The Associated Press Stylebook is the one you will be using if “Ross'” is correct. “Ross'” would be correct because it already ends with an “s,” so there is no reason to include another one.

Adding an extra “s” can make it more difficult for readers to understand the possessive form. AP Style removes the “s” because it makes it harder to pronounce “Ross’s” when written down.

This rule only applies to names that end with an “s.” Most other names have an “s” after the apostrophe, which is true according to all stylebook rules.

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

  • I’m not sure I want to be Ross’ friend anymore. He seems so angry all the time.
  • Ross’ sister wants to go out with me again. I’m surprised we made it this far.
  • What about Ross’ plans? Do you not think he wants to learn more about them?
  • Should we go to Ross’ wedding? I’m not sure if it’ll last very long.

When To Use Ross’s

The Microsoft and Chicago Manual of Style are the key stylebooks that teach us about “Ross’s.” In these styles, the “s” is required after the apostrophe to show the possessive form and make it obvious to the reader.

In The Microsoft Manual of Style, you should always keep the “s” after the end of the name, regardless of what the name ends with. The same rules are present in The Chicago Manual of Style to make possessive forms easier to understand.

Here are some examples showing you how to use “Ross’s” in a sentence:

  • I’m not Ross’s friend because I never got invited to any of his parties. I hated that.
  • What about Ross’s invitation? Does he not get one? I think that’s a bit cruel.
  • I told you all about Ross’s problems, yet you didn’t seem too fussed to learn more about it.
  • Ross’s parents are out of town for the weekend. We should go to his house for a party!

There is one exception to this rule that both stylebooks cover.

If the noun that immediately follows “Ross’s” begins with an “s,” the “s” after the apostrophe should be removed from “Ross’s.”

For example:

  • I will be at Ross’ sister’s house for the weekend. How does that sound?
  • Ross’ stereo is broken. I’m not sure how we’re going to fix it.

The “s” is removed after the apostrophe to make it clearer to the reader. If it was kept in, there would be three “s’s” in the same part of the sentence, making it jarring to read.

Ross’ vs. Ross’s in the UK and the US

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “Ross’s” is more popular in American English. This shows that the Chicago Manual of Style tends to be the more popular choice for American English writers.

ross' or ross's US

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “Ross’s” is also the most popular choice in British English. Since AP Style tells you to use “Ross'” in British English, we can conclude that either variation works for British English writers.

ross' or ross's UK

“Ross’s” tends to be the more popular choice overall because more American English writers use it. However, “Ross'” is still common in British English, making both variations acceptable.

Final Thoughts

You can write “Ross'” or “Ross’s” when using “Ross” in the possessive form. Both forms are correct; most native speakers won’t call you out for using one over the other. However, “Ross’s” is more common due to The Chicago Manual of Style, whereas “Ross'” is only appropriate in AP Style.