Universities or University’s or Universities’? (Easy Guide)

The possessive form of “university” might seem confusing at first glance. However, once you understand the basic possessive rules you need to know, it gets a lot easier to figure out. This article will show you all there is to know about “University” in the possessive form.

Universities or University’s or Universities’: Which Is The Correct Possessive Form?

“University’s” is the correct possessive form of “university,” but it’s only correct in the singular sense. “Universities'” is the correct possessive form in the plural sense, and we use it to refer to more than one “University” in possession of an object.

Universities or University's or Universities': Which Is The Correct Possessive Form?

This article will take a look at the following forms to show you how to use them all:

SingularUniversity
PluralUniversities
Singular possessiveUniversity’s
Plural possessiveUniversities’

All of the possessive rules shown above are standard in English. That makes “university” a regular noun, and the singular possessive and plural possessive follow the rules we expect.

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Universities

We’ll start this article off with the plural form. It’s the easiest of the three we’ve got to share with you, and shouldn’t take too long for you to understand.

“Universities” is the plural of “university.” We use it to refer to more than one “university,” but it is not a possessive form in itself.

While “university” changes form slightly, it’s actually still standard practice. Whenever a noun ends with a “Y,” we replace the ending with an “-es” when turning it into the plural form. This is true in almost all cases, as you can see from the following:

  • Community / Communities
  • Lady / Ladies
  • Society / Societies

We always replace the “Y” at the end of a singular word. Once you understand this, you’ll be in a much better position to understand general singular and plural forms.

“Universities” works in the following ways:

  1. I’ve been to many universities in the past, but this one is the most exciting.
  2. We have visited all of the universities in the area.
  3. The universities I’ve been a part of all offer the same ridiculous things!
  4. Many of the universities I’ve visited have said the same thing, so what sets you apart?
  5. You have been to some universities already, and you still want to see more?

“Universities” is only correct when referring to more than one “university.” We do not use it as a possessive form. It is simply the plural form.

University’s

Now that the plural is out the way, it’s time to focus on the possessive form. We’ll start with the easier form of the two, the singular possessive form.

“University’s” works when showing that one “university” owns an object in a sentence. We place the object directly after “University’s” to show what is owned by the building.

Like many other singular forms, we add an “‘s” to the end of the singular word “university.” This is common for all regular nouns, and we do it whenever we need to show ownership in some way.

The singular possessive form works like so:

  1. The university’s campus has everything I need.
  2. The university’s prospectus was enough to entice me to sign up.
  3. This university’s buildings are all modern constructions.
  4. My university’s fees are terrible!
  5. His university’s accommodation block is under renovation for the next three weeks.

We can use “university’s” whenever we want to show that one “university” owns an object. Remember that the object always comes directly after “university’s” in every case when written in this way.

Universities’

We might want to refer to more than one “university” owning objects at some point. For these cases, we need the plural possessive form, which is one step up from the singular form we just referred to.

“Universities'” works when referring to the plural form of “university.” That means that more than one “university” owns an object (or a group of similar objects). The “S” after the apostrophe is dropped whenever we use the plural possessive form in this way.

While you might be a bit confused at first, you don’t need to be. In fact, dropping the “S” is the most common way to use the plural possessive form. That makes it a regular noun and helps us to understand what we need to do before using it.

There is never a time where the “S” is included after the apostrophe in the plural possessive form for “university.” As long as you remember that, you’ll be good to go.

You might benefit from reading the following:

  1. The big three universities’ offers weren’t much harder to achieve than the others.
  2. All of these universities’ campuses are impressive, and I don’t know which I prefer.
  3. Those universities’ schedules are a nightmare to figure out.
  4. Much of these universities’ accommodation plans are given to first-year students only.
  5. Many of the universities’ areas are much larger than they appear at first glance.

We can use “universities'” whenever we want to show that multiple “universities” own an object or group of objects. It’s likely that the object will also be in plural form since more than one “university” owns it.

Quiz: Have You Mastered Universities or University’s or Universities’?

Let’s see what you’ve managed to take away from this article! We’ve put together a quick quiz to test everything you need to know and how the possessive form works.

  1. The (A. universities / B. university’s / C. universities’) campus was surprising!
  2. Many of the (A. universities / B. university’s / C. universities’) offers were declined because they didn’t suit any of the students’ needs.
  3. The (A. universities / B. university’s / C. universities’) head was in charge of the tour that I received.
  4. This (A. universities / B. university’s / C. universities’) schedule is all over the place.
  5. Both of the (A. universities / B. university’s / C. universities’) campuses were something to be desired.

Quiz answers

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

Final Thoughts

We can use both “university’s” and “universities'” as the possessive form. Of course, one is singular while the other is plural, and we need to make sure we understand this difference before using either of them in our writing correctly.

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