What Is the Correct Possessive Form of Children?

What Is the Correct Possessive Form of Children?

When it comes to possessive forms, the English language can be quite tricky. Many people are often confused about how to correctly form possessives, especially when it involves irregular nouns. One such example is the word “children.” In this article, we will explore the correct possessive form of “children” and answer some frequently asked questions to provide clarity on this topic.

The possessive form of “children” is “children’s.” This form is used to show ownership or possession. For example, “The children’s toys were scattered all over the room.” Here, the possessive form “children’s” indicates that the toys belong to the children.

It is important to note that “children’s” is the possessive form for both singular and plural nouns. Regardless of the number of children, the possessive form remains the same. For instance, “The child’s toy” and “The children’s toys” both correctly indicate ownership.


Q: Can I use “childrens'” as the possessive form of “children”?
A: No, “childrens'” is not the correct possessive form. In English, we use an apostrophe followed by the letter “s” to form the possessive of most singular and plural nouns. Therefore, “childrens'” is considered incorrect.

Q: What about “childrens’s”?
A: Similarly, “childrens’s” is also incorrect. The correct possessive form is “children’s” with just one apostrophe before the “s.” Using an additional “s” after the apostrophe is unnecessary and grammatically incorrect.

Q: How can I remember the correct possessive form of “children”?
A: One way to remember the correct form is to consider the apostrophe as a substitute for the missing letter. In the case of “children,” the missing letter is “d.” So, when forming the possessive, we add an apostrophe before the “s” to create “children’s.”

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Q: Are there any other irregular nouns with similar possessive forms?
A: Yes, there are a few other irregular nouns that follow the same possessive form as “children.” Some examples include “men” (men’s), “women” (women’s), and “people” (people’s). These nouns also use an apostrophe followed by an “s” to indicate possession.

Q: Can I use “children’s” to refer to a single child?
A: Yes, you can use “children’s” to refer to a single child when discussing a group or community of children. For example, “The children’s playground” refers to a playground intended for multiple children, even if only one child is currently playing there.

Q: Is there a difference between “children’s” and “child’s”?
A: Yes, there is a difference. “Children’s” is used to indicate possession by multiple children, while “child’s” signifies possession by a single child. For example, “The children’s toys” implies that the toys belong to more than one child, while “The child’s toy” indicates that the toy belongs to a single child.

In conclusion, the correct possessive form of “children” is “children’s.” This form is used to indicate ownership or possession, regardless of the number of children involved. It is important to remember that using “childrens'” or “childrens’s” is incorrect. By following these guidelines, you can confidently use the correct possessive form when referring to the belongings of children.

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