Category Archives: possessive nouns

How do you write the possessive of dress? Dress’s? or Dress’?

In the sentence, the “The dress’s / dress’ sleeve is too long,” how do you write the possessive form of dress?  Dress’s or dress’?

I tried to find the answer in my English handbook at home and in various internet sites.  But I couldn’t find an answer to the situation of a noun already ending in “ss.”

“Dress’s” looks funny because three letters s come together.  But “dress'” also looks funny because we pronounce a second syllable which seems not to be represented by a single apostrophe.

This question was presented to me by a high school student studying for his SATs.  I told him that it’s probably better to use the apostrophe s even though that creates three letters s in a row.  Other words which add a second pronounced syllable such as box’s and church’s add the apostrophe s.  So based on pronunciation, I would add the apostrophe s.

Anyone know what the answer is?