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We are having a debate about the pronunciation of boys' with a plural s and a possessive s.


Is there a pause at the end of the s or we just pronounce it with no pauses? is there a rule we should know about it?

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    The possessive apostrophe in English never affects pronunciation. This is probably one reason why many people, even native speakers, make apostrophe errors in written English. – Canadian Yankee Feb 15 '18 at 14:47
  • We don't even stress (pause) at the apostrophe? – Bader EL-din Feb 15 '18 at 14:48
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    No stress, no pauses. the boys, the boy's and the boys' are all pronounced the same. When followed by a vowel or another sibilant, it joins onto the next phoneme: When followed by a consonant, it is followed only by the gap normally required before that consonant. – JavaLatte Feb 15 '18 at 14:54
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No difference whatsoever. As JavaLatte's comment says,

No stress, no pauses. the boys, the boy's and the boys' are all pronounced the same.

Since it's impossible to hear any difference, you have to understand what is meant from context.

The only exception may be a slight difference in pronunciation with words where the plural is spelled with an "es" rather than an "s":

The foxes ran into their burrow.

The fox's burrow was beneath an old tree.

However, I imagine this depends on individual diction. Some people will exaggerate the "e" sound more than others – so, again, it's better to rely on context.

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  • RIght, and very simple indeed. – Lambie Feb 15 '18 at 17:31

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