Apostrophes with joint or singular ownership

By Mary Morel

Reader’s question: Where does the apostrophe go in the following sentence?

Michael and Kerry’s email addresses
or
Michael’s and Kerry’s email addresses

Answer: The second option is correct in this example since you are probably referring to two separate email addresses.

If they shared the same email address, you could have said: Michael and Kerry’s email address.

When ownership is joint, you only need one apostrophe:

my mother and father’s cars (they jointly own an unspecified number of cars)

Compare this with:

my mother’s and father’s cars (they individually own an unspecified number of cars)

When apostrophes become confusing, I think it is better to write the sentence another way. For example:

I have email addresses for Michael and Kerry.
The cars belong jointly to my mother and father.
My mother and father each has their own car.

Learn more about apostrophes

Read my other posts on apostrophes:

Why not register for my online apostrophe course, How to use Apostrophes, for just A$19.95?

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