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

When a proper noun ends with an “s”, there seem to be a few contradicting rules associated with the possessive form. This article will look into using “Texas'” and “Texas’s” to help you understand which form is correct (and why).

Texas’s or Texas’: Which Is the Correct Possessive Form?

“Texas’s” is correct if you’re following traditional English rules. It’s also common for style guides such as The Chicago Manual of Style to promote the extra “s.” “Texas'” is correct according to newer style guides like the AP Stylebook. The “s” is dropped in favour of simplicity.

texas possessive

It’s up to you to decide which one works best. They follow possessive form rules regardless of whether you keep the “s:”

  • Texas’s governor
  • Texas’ governor

Some people prefer to keep the “s” after the apostrophe. Others prefer to remove it. It’s mainly a personal preference, though certain style guides will give you more information about that.

When To Use Texas’

“Texas'” is the correct form according to the Associated Press Stylebook. AP Style suggests that the “s” should be removed after the apostrophe in favour of simplicity.

This is done because the repeated “s” letter at the end of “Texas’s” can be a bit difficult to read. It’s common for newer English style guides to remove redundancies like this if they make a word harder for someone to read.

Here are some examples to help you see how to use “Texas'” in a sentence:

  • Texas’ governor wants to address the people. I wonder what he’s got to say to them.
  • You should have seen Texas’ news channel last night. It was all over the place.
  • I’m not going back to Texas’ suburbs. There’s something about them that puts me off.
  • She was Texas’ favourite singer. She only left because another state offered her more money.
  • You are Texas’ biggest problem. You need to start seeing yourself as the villain!

When To Use Texas’s

“Texas’s” is the recognised form according to The Microsoft Manual of Style and The Chicago Manual of Style. In these style guides, the “s” should be kept after “Texas” to show that it owns the following object.

The extra “s” makes the possessive form clearer. It also allows writers to stick to traditional possessive form rules, meaning that the “‘s” ending will always follow the noun.

These examples will show you how to use “Texas’s” in a sentence:

  • I’m Texas’s only hope right now. I need to prove myself to people however I can.
  • What about Texas’s oil supply? Surely, there’s something we can do to monetise that.
  • She needed Texas’s people to support her. Unfortunately, nobody got behind her scheme.
  • I’m not Texas’s biggest fan, but I must admit this is a great thing for the state.
  • They have Texas’s ideas in mind, but I’m not sure if they’re going to be able to fulfil them.

The only exception to using “Texas’s” in these style guides is when the object that follows it also starts with an “s.” Having three “s’s” next to each other in a sentence is jarring for most readers:

  • Texas’s state laws

To remedy this, the style guides allow the “s” to be dropped. Again, this only applies when the object starts with an “s:”

  • Texas’ state laws

Texas’ or Texas’s in US vs. UK

There is a slight difference in popularity between Texas’ and Texas’s, depending on which language rules you follow.

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “Texas'” is the most popular choice in British English. This shows that the Associated Press Stylebook is the most popular style guide for British natives.

texas possessive UK

“Texas’s” is the most popular choice in American English, but this only occurred over the last decade. Before then, “Texas'” was more popular. The Chicago Manual of Style guide seems to be more favourable to American English speakers.

texas possessive US

British English users prefer the simplicity of removing the “s” after the apostrophe. American English users prefer to keep it in favour of the traditional possessive rules.

Final Thoughts

“Texas'” and “Texas’s” are both correct. The only difference comes from the style guide you follow in your writing. You should use “Texas'” when writing according to AP Style rules. “Texas’s” is best according to The Chicago Manual of Style. As long as you stay consistent, you’ll be correct.