Participants’ vs Participantses

So I know an apostrophe is used to show possession. E.g The participant’s book.

However, what if I wanted to show possession with several participants? If I was referring to the scores of each participant for example…

Look at the participants scores

Look at the participants’ scores

Look at the participantses scores

Which one would be correct? According to a guide I looked at, putting ‘es’ at the end would be correct, however, I am not sure if it would be correct in this example.


There is no such word in English as participantses.

There is variation that you could use for plural possessive

  • participants’s, janitors’s
  • which is usually shorted to participants’, janitors’.

It is not just a plural possessive issue. It is a possessive issue of whenever the possessing noun ends with “s”.

  • A genius’s intellect
  • A genius’ intellect

Pronouncing participants’s is obviously “participantses”.

However, how to pronounce the abridged and normally written version participants’, is subject to differences in preferences.

You could pronounce it as

  1. participants
  2. participants’s (i.e. “participantses”)

Occasionally, I prefer to pronounce participants’ like I would participants’s, which is “participantses”.

That occasional preference of mine is for clarity, but sounds awkward. Awkward because

  • users’ sounds horrible as “userses”
  • nurses’ sounds horrible as “nurseses”
  • the shops’ hours sounds horrible as “the shopses hours”
  • Jeff Bridges’ career sounds horrible as “Jeff Bridgeses career”

Source : Link , Question Author : JimmyK , Answer Author : Blessed Geek

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