Charles’ or Charles’s?

Charles’ is a singular possessive form for the name Charles, recommended by the AP Stylebook. For example, Charles’ cat enjoys sitting by the window and watching the birds. Charles’s is also a singular possessive form recommended by the Chicago Manual of Style.

You can use any of the two forms but whichever you use, just be consistent with it in the document you are editing.

FormExample
SingularCharles
PluralCharleses
Singular PossessiveCharles’ or charles’s
Plural PossessiveCharleses’

Charles’

You will use Charles’ when you are talking about something that belongs to one person named Charles. This is the singular possessive form Charles’s.

If you are following the AP Stylebook, Charles’, is the correct form to use. The AP Stylebook recommends that singular nouns, like a name, show possession by adding an apostrophe. Remember to be consistent with whatever style you follow in the document you are editing.

Let’s look at some of the examples below;

  • Charles’ car is parked in the driveway.
  • I borrowed Charles’ umbrella because it started raining.
  • We’re going to Charles’ house for dinner tonight.
  • Charles’ favorite book is on the shelf.
  • I met Charles’ parents at the school event.

You can see that in these examples, “Charles’,” shows ownership or possession by someone named Charles.

Charleses

Charleses is the standard plural for Charles. However, the use of the plural will depend on whether or not Charles is the first name or last name. 

If Charles is the last name, you would say, ‘The Charleses are hosting a family reunion next month.’

 On the other hand, if you are referring to two or more people whose first name is Charles, then you would use ‘the Charleses.’ Take note of the small letter ‘t’ on ‘the’.

  • In the park, I saw the Charleses playing with their dog.
  • At the party, the Charleses brought delicious homemade cookies.
  • The Charleses at school are known for their kindness.
  • We often see the Charleses at the local library.
  • During the game, the Charleses cheered for their favorite team.

Charles’s

“If you are following Microsoft Manual of Style or The Chicago Manual of Style, then you will need to have an apostrophe and an ‘S’ at the end to make it a singular possessive. Just ensure that when you choose to follow one styling standard, you use it throughout the document.”

  • Charles’s dog, a friendly Labrador, loves to play fetch in the backyard.
  • This weekend, I’m excited to attend Charles’s birthday party at his house.
  • Do you mind if I borrow Charles’s phone for a quick call to my friend?
  • Our family is looking forward to having dinner at Charles’s aunt’s cozy home.
  • By the entrance of the park, you’ll find Charles’s bike leaning against the fence.

Charleses’

The correct possessive form for a plural name ‘Charleses’ would be “The Charleses’.” This form shows that something belongs to more than one person named ‘Charles.’ Here are examples of how to use it. You’ll typically add ‘the’ before the name.

  • The Charleses‘ dog is known for its friendly nature in the neighborhood.
  • We’re attending the Charleses’ family reunion to celebrate their grandparents’ anniversary.
  • Can I borrow a chair from the Charleses’ backyard for the outdoor gathering?
  • The Charleses’ car broke down, so they’re waiting for a tow truck.
  • Join us at the Charleses’ picnic; they always host a delightful summer event.

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