Apostrophes: Individual vs. Joint Ownership

Apostrophes are punctuation marks that can be used to show possession. When a compound subject shows possession, the two or more subjects can have either joint or individual ownership of the object. One apostrophe on the last subject indicates joint ownership, which means that all members of the compound subject own the object. When each member of the compound subject has its own apostrophe, they have individual ownership, meaning that each member of the compound subject has its own object.

Examples of Apostrophes: Individual vs. Joint Ownership

Some examples of apostrophes used to show joint and individual ownership would be the following:

Joint Ownership

Foster and Lydia’s first class of the day is math.

Eunice and Tony’s parents are both soccer coaches.

Marcel and Lacy’s neighborhood is having an egg hunt on Saturday.

Individual Ownership

Kyree’s and Everett’s fathers went to high school together.

Christina’s and Amir’s bikes were both locked up in front of the library.

Judy’s, Marie’s, and Hector’s quizzes all had perfect scores.

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