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For a single business, not multiple businesses what is the correct way to make it possessive? I have a directive to change business' to businesses which looks wrong to me.

"The business' income was ..."
"The business's income was ..."
"The businesses income was ..."
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The correct form for singular possessive would be:


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RE: Business', Business's, Businesses

Are you sure about that. I was always taught that when the word ended with an "s" you just add the apostrophe. So,

"The business' income was ..."

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James P. Cottingham
I'm number 1,229!
I'm number 1,229!

RE: Business', Business's, Businesses

Ok, that's what I was figuring. But, I wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy for thinking "businesses" was incorrect.

RE: Business', Business's, Businesses

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Quote (Link):

Singular Words Ending in 'S': If a singular word ends in s, is it correct to add an s after the apostrophe in the possessive form? That depends on who you ask. It's a matter of style, not grammar. As a technical writer, however, I consider it a usability issue. When people read, they hear the words in their head. So where the style guides disagree, I use pronunciation as the ultimate arbiter.

According to The Chicago Manual of Style, if the s at the end of a singular word is pronounced, the possessive is formed by adding 's. The same is true for words ending in x or z: boss's office, Alex's wallet. However, if the 's would be awkward, avoid the possessive and use of instead: the governor of Texas, the history of jazz. If the s, x, or z is not pronounced, the s after the apostrophe may be omitted: Illinois' capital, Margaux' necklace. Follow this practice only if you're certain of the pronunciation.

Fowler's Modern English Usage recommends omitting the s after the apostrophe with names ending in an iz sound, as in Beau Bridges' brother.

The Associated Press Stylebook omits the s after the apostrophe altogether in singular words ending in s. Since newspapers are pressed for space, I suppose they can be forgiven (although I'm not sure I'll be forgiven for that pun). But unless you're required to follow AP, I recommend including the s for consistency with pronunciation.

Ancient Names: Ancient names can be troublesome, in part because style guides also disagree here. According to Fowler's, ancient names ending in s form the possessive with an apostrophe alone: Achilles' heel, Moses' journey. This is not the rule in The Chicago Manual of Style, however. According to Chicago, while names ending in an eez sound receive only an apostrophe, others use 's: Aristophanes' plays, Zeus's wife. When in doubt, or when both ways look wrong, Chicago recommends using of, as in the son of Isis or the teachings of Jesus.

(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
[I provide low-cost, remote Database Administration services: www.dasages.com]
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RE: Business', Business's, Businesses

Quote (Skie):

I have a directive to change business' to businesses which looks wrong to me.
well businesses is definitely plural - that's not a style issue.

    The plural of anecdote is not data

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