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If I would like to express the following:

"Have a look at the impacts in Cologne, where one of our pilot utility's is located."

Is that correct or should I use "utility" or "utilities"? I am not sure, because on the one hand there are more than one utilities, but on the other hand it sounds also fine in singular.

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  • Actually, when posting my question, I realized that "utilities" should be used in that case. Am I correct?
    – alex
    Oct 31, 2018 at 8:54

2 Answers 2

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When you put an apostrophe, it can only represent two things:

  1. Possession, e.g, Alex's bag.
  2. To shorten a word, e.g haven't.

If you were to say "utility's" it would mean that the utility is owning something. I assume that that's not the case, and you were talking about the pilot utilities, plural form of utility, without an apostrophe. Thus, utilities should be the correct word to use.

You said, "one of our", which means there is more than one utility. If there is only one utility, you would say "our pilot utility".

Finally, the correct sentence would be:

Have a look at the impacts in Cologne, where one of our pilot utilities is located.

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  • Dear Puffy, thanks a lot for your answer. But are you sure about "to have a look IN the impacts" and "one of our pilot utilites ARE located?"
    – alex
    Oct 31, 2018 at 12:23
  • Hi, sorry but I guess those were typos. But just remember that an apostrophe represents possession, while plural form represents more than one of a thing and should be used without an apostrophe.
    – Puffy
    Oct 31, 2018 at 12:32
  • No problem, happy to help.
    – Puffy
    Oct 31, 2018 at 12:45
  • Depending on which guidelines you follow, there are one or two more correct uses of apostrophes. Some style guides, include the MLA, advise using an apostrophe to pluralize letters, e.g. "All of my a's look like o's." Some, include the Chicago Manual of Style, and the New York Times recommend using an apostrophe to pluralize abbreviations that include periods, e.g. "There were three C.P.A.'s in the room." For abbreviations without periods, no apostrophe is used: "I bought twenty DVDs at the store"
    – Juhasz
    Oct 31, 2018 at 15:00
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My guess is that the general idea of what you are trying to express is the negative impact of something on something else.

Anyway, if by the impact you mean what I guess, then "have a look at…" sounds rather odd.

If something that made the impact you are talking about is known to your interlocutor or implied, you may substitute it by "it":

… ...the impact it made in Cologne/Köln

Then, if a pilot utility is an enterprise of some type, then it should be

…one of our pilot utilities

Lastly, there's also the verb phrase to impact on something, meaning to have a strong effect on something.

That being said, the whole sentence might read:

Just think of the impact it had on one of our pilot utilities (located) in Cologne!

or

You (already) know/heard what impact it had on one of our pilot utilities (located) in Cologne, don't you?

or

Just think of/Just imagine how it impacted on one of our pilot utilities (located) in Cologne!

Also, you can use the noun consequences to make "where one of our pilot utilities is located" just an additional piece of information:

Just think of the consequences it had/led to in Cologne, where one of our pilot utilities is (located)!

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