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Following text excerpt:

…it would have been important to work with real-life photographs of the actors' faces and to…

Is actors', in this case, correct? – Or should it be:

…it would have been important to work with real-life photographs of the actor's faces and to…

Thank You!

3 Answers 3

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In this case, the correct place to put the apostrophe here would be after the word: actors’. This is because it is talking about multiple actors, making the word actors, meaning really you would say actors’s, which isn’t grammatically correct, so you remove one S and put the apostrophe to the end:

…it would have been important to work with real-life photographs of the actors' faces and to…

Is correct.

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    I think maybe you intended to write ...meaning really you would say actors’s But because it's effectively "unpronounceable" to have two consecutive /s/ sounds there, we neither enunciate nor write that second instance after the possessive apostrophe. Feb 28, 2022 at 11:58
  • @FumbleFingers You’re right, that was a typo. Thanks!
    – Buzzyy
    Feb 28, 2022 at 13:57
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    Presumably someone downvoted you because of that. But now you've corrected the typo, I can upvote you to cancel that out. Feb 28, 2022 at 13:59
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The actors' faces is correct. For the possessive form of a plural noun ending in 's', the apostrophe is placed at the the end, after the 's'.

the dogs' tails

the mens' wives

the towns' mayors

the actors' faces

The actor's faces would mean the multiple faces possessed by one actor, which would be nonsense, as a person only has one face. However, the actor's hands (one actor) and the actors' hands (more than one actor) would be possible. Attention to correct use of apostrophes is, as you may perceive, important.

Apostrophe (The Punctuation Guide)

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correct: 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘀' faces...

We use apostrophe s (’𝘀) to show possession. We add apostrophe s (’𝘀) to singular nouns.

actor's face, The boy's dog, girl's doll, my brother's pen

We use apostrophe (’) with plural nouns ending in -s.

Boys' school, Girls' college,

but children's park, women's rights, people's property

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