Societies, Society’s or Societies’? (Possessive Explained)

Before using the possessive form of “society,” you need to understand the differences between the plural and singular forms. Luckily, this article is here to help you understand all you need to know about them.

Societies, Society’s or Societies: Which Is The Correct Possessive Form?

“Society’s” is the singular possessive form of “society.” We use this when only one society owns an object in the sentence. “Societies'” is the plural possessive form. This form works when multiple societies own the same object or group of objects.

Societies or Society's or Societies'?

This table is going to help you get your head around it some more:

Singular possessiveSociety’s
Plural possessiveSocieties’

Luckily for us, possessive rules are fairly standard and easy to understand (in most cases). “Society” is one of these cases because the possessive rules make sense.

To work out the singular possessive form, we only need to add an apostrophe and an “S” to the end of the singular form. You’ll notice that “society” becomes “society’s” when we use it in this form.

The same goes for the plural possessive; only the “S” is dropped after the apostrophe. We take the plural form “societies” and add an apostrophe. The extra “S” is irrelevant here because it would not help the reader to understand how to pronounce it.


“Societies” is the simplest form we can use that extends on the singular “society.” It’s the plural form, which only applies when we are talking about multiple “societies.” There is no mention of possession when we use it in this form.

  1. There are plenty of societies to choose from. Which one do you think you’d have the most fun with?
  2. I want to find the societies that said this wouldn’t be fun. It’s the only way to know what’s going on.
  3. Where are all the interesting societies? That’s the most important thing right now.
  4. I’m not a part of any societies. I don’t think I’d fit in with any of them, to be honest.
  5. You should try to join some societies. I think you’d surprise yourself with what you would learn.
  6. Societies are always the answer if you’re looking for an easy way to make friends.

So, “societies” makes the most sense when we are talking about many different societies. Usually, it’s a way to encourage people to join one (in college) or to talk about society as a whole.


“Society’s” is the first possessive form. It works when one “society” owns an object in a sentence. This object comes in the form of a noun, and it has to come directly after “society’s” for it to make sense when we write about it.

  1. I’m the society’s founder, so I’ll be the one conducting the interview with you today.
  2. I’ll be on the society’s board of directors. I’m looking forward to having a bit more of a say about things.
  3. You’ll have to be the society’s second-in-command. We want to make sure everyone is equal, but you deserve this.
  4. Society’s problem is that nobody seems to care about their neighbors anymore.
  5. I’m going to be society’s biggest drain on resources. Just wait and see what I can do!
  6. You’ll be society’s answer to this problem. I knew you were destined for great things from the moment I met you.

While “society” isn’t a person, it can still own an object. Any noun can possess another noun as long as we find a suitable way for the two nouns or objects to interact with each other.


“Societies'” is the plural possessive form. This works when we talk about multiple societies owning the same object (or a group of similar objects). The plural possessive form isn’t very common in most cases, and “societies'” is no different.

  1. The societies’ gathering was taking place, in which every society had a chance to speak up.
  2. Many societies’ needs are the same, so I think it’s important to make sure they are all treated fairly.
  3. All the societies’ members gathered to talk about the strategies they had going forward.
  4. Many of the societies’ theories overlapped. It was really interesting to see what they had to say.
  5. Most of the societies’ ideologies were against what I believe in. So, I decided not to join any of them.
  6. I’m three of the societies’ go-to guy for this kind of stuff. What can I get for you?

You typically won’t see “societies'” come up in writing. It’s not common to refer to them in the plural possessive form like this. Nevertheless, it’s still good to make sure you understand how it works, just in case.

Quiz: Have You Mastered Societies or Society’s or Societies’?

  1. The (A. societies / B. society’s / C. societies’) problem is that it doesn’t take on anyone new.
  2. I would like to fix these (A. societies / B. society’s / C. societies’), but I’m not sure I have the ability.
  3. Many of the (A. societies / B. society’s / C. societies’) leaders had a meeting about these things to find out what went wrong.
  4. Your (A. societies / B. society’s / C. societies’) ideas are rubbish. You should join mine instead.
  5. Have you seen the list of (A. societies / B. society’s / C. societies’) that you might be able to join?
  6. I want to fix (A. societies / B. society’s / C. societies’) issues, but nobody ever listens to me.
  7. (A. Societies / B. Society’s / C. Societies’) answer is to stop allowing people to earn a good wage.
  8. Most of the (A. societies / B. society’s / C. societies’) leaflets were mixed up into one big mess.
  9. The (A. societies / B. society’s / C. societies’) members needed some time apart from each other.
  10. Where are the best (A. societies / B. society’s / C. societies’) located?

Quiz answers

  1. B
  2. A
  3. C
  4. B
  5. A
  6. B
  7. B
  8. C
  9. B
  10. A

Final Thoughts

You will mostly find that “society’s” works as the only possessive form. It’s the singular possessive form, which happens to be the most popular choice that comes up in more situations. “Societies'” does work, but it’s not quite as common when in the plural possessive form.

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