Children’s Day or Childrens’ Day? Apostrophes matter!

All of us celebrate Children’s Day and various other days like Valentine’s Day, Teacher’s Day and so on. The most difficult part while greeting other people is the apostrophe, isn’t it?

Does the apostrophe go before the s or after?

I sit there, staring at the word, questioning its existence – and I know it’s not just me who is confused. Apostrophes can confuse even experts!

So, let’s see where the s actually belongs!

Apostrophes are used:

  1. To form possessives of nouns
  2. To show the omission of letters
  3. To show the omission of letters

To answer the above question, however, we need to discuss the first use in detail.

Apostrophes are used to form possessives of nouns

To check whether you need to make the sentence into a possessive, change it into an ” of the …” phrase.

For example:

  • The dog’s food = The food of the dog.
  • The girl’s umbrella – The umbrella of the girl.

Once you have judged whether you need to make a possessive form, use the following rules :

  1. add ‘s to the singular form of the word (even if it ends in -s):
  • my owner’s lawnmower.
  • James’s blue trousers.
  1. add ‘s to the plural forms that do not end in -s:
  • women’s clothing
  • children’s toys
  1. add  to the end of plural nouns that end in -s:
  • cats’ kibble
  • countries’ border
  1. add ‘s to the last noun to show joint possession of an object:
  • Riya and Tina’s closet
  • Jayant and Seema’s books


Keeping the above guidelines in mind, we can see that we need to add ‘s to the plural forms that do not end in -s.

So, it is always children’s day (the day of the children) and not childrens’ day.


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