When do I use "persons" instead of "person's"? When do I add the apostrophe?


Thanks man 

8 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    1 person 

    2 or more persons

    person's = something belonging to one person

    persons' = something belonging to plural persons

  • RP
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    The apostrophe is necessary when referring to something that belongs to a person, like a book. For example, I saw the person's book fall, picked it up, and returned it to her/him. If there are many, the same rule applies. For example, the persons' applause showed their approval.

  • F
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Oh no! You’ll have the apostrophe police out now!

  • 1 month ago

    possessive is when you use person's, or perhaps persons' (depends on if you mean one or many).  Most people do use "people" as the plural version of "person", so it is not common to hear "persons" as the plural, but it is still done.

    The person's luggage was on the cart.  The persons were in the cart (sounds very awkward to me, so I would say "the people were in the cart")  However, some might want to say "individual persons might consider that a good choice" and I don't find that awkward.  That is, it is sometimes ok or even better to use the plural "persons" rather than the plural "people". 

    But to answer the question clearly, the apostrophe is used for a possessive form only.  It is not used when the s is used to indicate plural.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • Expat
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    “Persons” is an antiquated word now only used in legalese. 

    One person, two people. 

    The apostrophe is used for the possessive form. “The bag is this person’s property.” 

    Here’s a link about “people vs. persons”


  • Zirp
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    persons= more than one person

    person's = belonging to one person

  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    i think they sound good either way

  • 1 month ago

    Leave off the apostrophe when you're referring to more than one person. Use the apostrophe when referring to the possession of a person and the word "person's" modifies the object word. Dang, they taught me this in the 3rd grade, as we learned to diagram sentences to map out all the parts of speech.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.