Common mistake wrong genitive (e.g., 'employees's' instead of 'employee's')

Common Mistake: Wrong Use of Genitive

One of the most common mistakes in English grammar is the incorrect use of the genitive. The genitive is used to indicate possession or ownership, but often it is misused, resulting in awkward or incorrect sentences. This mistake can be particularly confusing when it comes to plural nouns or words that already end in "s."

Example 1:

Incorrect: The employees's lunchboxes were left in the break room.

Correct: The employees' lunchboxes were left in the break room.

Explanation: When a noun is plural, the apostrophe is placed after the "s" without adding an additional "s." Therefore, it should be "employees' lunchboxes" instead of "employees's lunchboxes."

Example 2:

Incorrect: My boss's car is parked in the driveway.

Correct: My boss' car is parked in the driveway.

Explanation: When a noun already ends in "s," only an apostrophe is added to indicate possession, without an additional "s." Thus, it should be "boss' car" instead of "boss's car."

This mistake can cause confusion and make your writing appear unprofessional. However, there are tools available, such as the Linguix grammar checker, that can help you identify and correct these errors before finalizing your written work.

wrong genitive (e.g., 'employees's' instead of 'employee's') mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    This was the employees's decision.

    This was the employee's|employees' decision.

  • Incorrect:
    Within national marine sanctuaries's protected waters, giant humpback whales breed.

    Within national marine sanctuary's|sanctuaries' protected waters, giant humpback whales breed.

  • Correct:
    The actress's role was pretty small.
  • Correct:
    Mr. Lewis's dog bit me yesterday.
  • Correct:
    People's Republic of China
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