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e.g the responsibility of student , student's responsibility or students' responsibility, what are they different? what situation should use them respectively?

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language


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    Hi. There are some confused meanings, and one must sort this out carefully to be clear in the mind about what is proper about the use of the Apostrophe (`) and the "s".

    #1 First, we see the word student. This is SINGULAR. It refers to only one (1) student.

    #2 Second, this word has a PLURAL form, which is students. This means more than one student. It can be two students or thousands of students.

    So there is A student and there can be one or more students. You see?
    Adding s indicates more----than----one.

    #3 Then there is the entirely different matter of Showing the POSSESSION of something by one student, or several students. This possession of something is shown by using the Apostrophe.

    For example, we can discuss "Carrie's Writing" or "Carrie's House" or "Bruce's School" or "Bruce's Country" or "Nicki's Family" or "Ameica's Foreign Policy" or
    "The Football Team's Victory over the oppponent". This is when the Apostrophe is used to show that someone Posesses something, and it is theirs, and not someone else's.

    #4 Then there is the special useage of showing POSSESSION, when the word or person who possess a thing, ends in the letter "s". When this happens, the apostrophe is placed after the s in the name or thing, and a Double S is not used to show possession.

    For example, we can refer to the lighting at the Football Stadium, as;
    "The Football Stadium's lighting. Stadium does not end in S, so we just write apostrophe and then an "s" to show that the lighting being discussed belongs to the stadium.

    But what if there is a Business, that it is called SMITHS? The name already ends in an S.
    English grammar does not allow us to write about "Smiths's Lighting at their store".
    English Rules of grammar inform us that this is an error. So we write it this way;

    "The Lighting at SMITHS' store, is very bright."

    Also, let's examine someone with a name like MICHAELS. It ends in an "s" already.
    To be correct, we do not write about "The lighting at Michaels's store". Instead, we should write about "The lighting at Michaels' store".

    The City of Saint Louis has a river running through it. So we could write about the city's river.
    But if I want to refer to the River that is the "possession" of Saint Louis, Missouri, I would write St. Louis' river.

    I could also write about the Saint Louis' bright lights, or Saint Louis' restaurants.


    So for words that end in an "s" which show possession of something, we simply write an Apostrophe after the "s".

    “The responsibility of a student” and “a student’s responsibility” are the same sentence fragments reworded in passive and non passive forms. However the simple gesture of changing the position of the apostrophe in “students’ responsibility” makes the possessive word “students’” plural. In other words “the responsibility of several students.”

    Student’s - possessive singular
    Students’ - possessive plural

    Students - non-possessive plural
    Student - non-possessive singular

    Hope this helps!

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