In general, to form a possessive of a singular noun (regardless of whether it ends in s) or a plural noun that doesn't end in s, add 's to the end of the word. For a plural noun that does end in s, add an apostrophe but no additional s.

Examples of correct possessives

  • alias's
  • application's
  • business's
  • class's
  • customer's
  • Elvis's
  • Liz's
  • user's (singular); users' (plural)
  • Elise Williams's
  • the Williamses'
  • women's

Examples of incorrect possessives

  • businesses's
  • Buzz'
  • Carlos'
  • class'
  • examples's
  • users's
  • values's

Exception: The possessive of it is a special case because it doesn't take an apostrophe.

Recommended as possessive: Each component has its own set of traits.

However, the contraction of it is takes an apostrophe.

Recommended as contraction: It's preferable when accuracy isn't as important.

Company- and product-name possessives

To form the possessive of a company name, add 's to the end of the name. Avoid forming a possessive with a product name, regardless of who owns the product name.

Recommended: Google's new office is nearby.

Recommended: The capabilities of Search are vast.

Not recommended: Search's capabilities are vast.