HumbleApostrophe.com Blog


The apostrophe is a little squiggle which is often used incorrectly, with wild abandon, in the most inappropriate ways. I'd like to save it, to be an evangelist, and show people how to use it. Join with me on my apostrophe journey which has spanned many years, and hopefully will span many more to come! Teena Hughes


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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Does "others" have an apostrophe?



I had an enquiry from my website HumbleApostrophe.com the other day, and it was this:
Would you use an apostrophe in the word others for the following? And if so, before or after the s?

"While he is assertive and dominant, he is also able to maintain awareness of others needs."
Now to help you understand when and where to put the apostrophe, let's look at the sentence.

==> The important bit is - he is aware of the needs of others.

Therefore the word 'others' I would consider to be plural, and so 'others' will 'own' the 'needs'.
So, it would be written with the apostrophe AFTER the 's' of others, showing [1] plural, and [2] ownership. Here is how it should be written:
"While he is assertive and dominant, he is also able to maintain awareness of others' needs."
PS - if the word 'others' referred to ONE other person, the apostrophe would be before the 's'.

I hope this helps someone - let me know if you have questions!


Ciao,
Teena!
the Apostrophe Queen

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