In the sentence below, are the usages of apostrophes correct?

In research about parent stereotypes, the correlation between parents’ beliefs about their early elementary age children’s’ mathematics abilities and the children’s actual abilities increased as children aged.

  • Children's literature.
    – rogermue
    Commented Jun 14, 2015 at 1:53

1 Answer 1


No. The rule is simple:

  • For regular plurals ending in s, the possessive suffix is '.
  • In all other cases, the suffix is 's.

Children is an irregular plural, not a regular one. Therefore, the suffix is 's, and the possessive form is children's. Your form *children's' is incorrect.

However, the other possessive forms are fine. Parents is a regular plural, so the possessive suffix is simply '. That means parents' is correct. And you correctly write children's later in the same sentence. (Was your earlier mistake a typo?)

In this answer, the * symbol means that the spelling is considered incorrect.

  • Thank you. It's probably a typo but not my typo. I just copied the text: link
    – user1555
    Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 15:28
  • 2
    @Nate The Wikipedia article you're quoting is tagged with the following text: "This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (September 2012)" I'll go ahead and fix that one error, but there may be other mistakes on that page.
    – user230
    Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 15:33
  • You're right. I'm sorry.
    – user1555
    Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 15:47
  • @Nate There's no need to apologize. It was perfectly fine to ask about it, in my opinion :-)
    – user230
    Commented Sep 20, 2013 at 15:50
  • 1
    @PeterFord You're right, this needs updating. It should say the regular plural suffix; wolf has a change in the base, but takes the regular plural suffix. I think this answer is probably more accurate, but I'll have to review it later to make sure: ell.stackexchange.com/a/74312/230
    – user230
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 0:46

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