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How to Show Possession with Proper Nouns

By Geraldine Woods

Because companies, stores, and organizations also own things, you need a way to express possession. In English, these proper nouns — whether they are singular or plural — require you to use apostrophes to show possession. Put the apostrophe at the end of the name:

Macy’s finest shoes

Microsoft’s finest operating system

McGillicuddy, Pinch, and Cinch’s finest lawsuit

Grammar, Inc.’s finest apostrophe rule

Some stores have apostrophes in their names, even without a sense of possession:

Macy’s occupies an entire city block.

Macy’s is always written with an apostrophe, even when there’s no noun after the store name. Macy’s implies a shortened version of a longer name (perhaps Macy’s Department Store).

Place apostrophes where they’re needed in this paragraph.

Jeff went to Macys Department Store to buy a suit for Lolas party. His shopping list also included a heart for the Valentines Day dinner and a card for his brothers next anniversary. Jeffs shopping spree was successful, in spite of Lulus and Lolas attempts to puncture his tires.

Answer: Jeff went to Macy’s Department Store to buy a suit for Lola’s party. His shopping list also included a heart for the Valentine’s Day dinner and a card for his brother’s next anniversary. Jeff’s shopping spree was successful, in spite of Lulu’s and Lola’s attempts to puncture his tires. (Note: Lulu and Lola made separate stabs at the tires.)