Is the apostrophe placement in the next sentence correct? "The girl's basketball team won the championship."

Is this correct since the team is acting as one unit?

  • 4
    Only correct if it's the basketball team of that one girl.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 10 '15 at 2:10
  • 1
    @HotLicks Not the complete answer, surely? Suppose you said My girl's basketball team. If you put the apostrophe after then you might appear as the parent of the entire team. And why not The (neighbours') girl's basketball team.
    – WS2
    Oct 10 '15 at 7:52
  • 2
    @WS2 - Yep, in those cases it is, for the intent of the sentence, the team of that one boy or girl. I did not say otherwise.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 10 '15 at 12:22

It certainly deserves an apostrophe; for example, "women basketball team" is incorrect. It should be "women's basketball team," and therefore, it should also be "men's basketball team," "boys' basketball team," and "girls' basketball team."

"Girl's team" is emphasizing one particular girl on the team. For example, "Sheila's basketball team," i.e. the team Sheila plays on.

"Girls' team" indicates one team composed of numerous girls.

"Girls' teams" indicates numerous teams composed of numerous girls.

  • 1
    If the girl is Sheila, and Sheila is on a particular basketball team, I don't see anything wrong with saying "Sheila's basketball team won the championship"—or (by replacement) "The girl's basketball team won the championship." The accuracy of that wording depends on whether the speaker has in mind "Sheila and her team" (in which case "girl's" seems perfectly valid) or, say, "the Frostbite Falls High School girls' basketball team" (in which case "girl's" does not seem valid).
    – Sven Yargs
    Oct 10 '15 at 9:11
  • @Sven Yargs: Good point. Oct 10 '15 at 11:44

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