Is it grammatically correct to write:

This gift's for you

meaning "This gift is for you"?

Some say that I can't use 's in this way after a noun. After a noun it would be considered as possessive case. I need to be sure as this text will be printed on a T-shirt together with a drawing, and the T-shirt will be distributed in stores worldwide.

  • 4
    Yes it is @Inge – Alan Carmack Sep 6 '16 at 9:10
  • 3
    Yes, it is correct. In fact, it's almost identical to a famous American advertising slogan for Budweiser beer, "This Bud's for you." – stangdon Sep 6 '16 at 14:51
  • The phrase with the apostrophe is slightly more susceptible to misreading/misinterpretation. For example, "Scott's orange" could be referring to the fruit I had for lunch, or it could mean that I have a peculiar hair or skin pigmentation and look like a prominent politician. But in this case, where the apostrophe-S is followed by a prepositional phrase, there is no ambiguity. – Scott Sep 6 '16 at 18:44


All alone is ambiguous.

This gift's for you.
this gift is for you

is an example of a contraction.

The gift's benefits are for your enjoyment.
the benefits from having this gift are for your enjoyment

is an example of the possessive where "benefits" is the object of the possessive.

Context is very important, your sentence is correct.
It can only be understood as a contraction since there is no object for it to be possessive.


This gift's for you

is fine, and seems appropriate for a message on a t-shirt.

Depending on the exact situation, however, it may be more common and natural to write:

A gift for you

meaning This is a gift for you.

It is likely that a teacher or textbook gave a suggestion, guideline, or rule not to use 's with a noun in order to prevent learners from using it to make a plural form.


He borrowed some book's from the library.

He borrowed some books' from the library.

Or, as you mentioned, to attempt to teach that 's is commonly used to indicate possession, not to make plural forms.

But we can use 's after most singular nouns to mean [noun] + is/has.


This book's very good. This book's been damaged.

We normally use these examples in speech, or written expression of dialogue. But in most writing we normally do not use these particular contractions. We spell them out:

This book is very good. This book has been damaged.

A single line printed on something as a promotion, however, is a special use, where this kind of contraction is common.

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