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Another apostrophe question

(9 Posts)
LifeOfBriony Sat 24-Aug-13 14:45:42

I am listing some items for sale on eBay.

Should I say "Boy's shirt" or "Boys' Shirt" ?

I have one shirt for sale which belonged to one boy, and will only be bought for one boy.

But I would say "Ladies' dress", not "Lady's dress" (I think), even though only one lady at a time would ever own the dress.


prism Sat 24-Aug-13 14:55:31

Would you say "Man's Shirt", or "Men's Shirt"? I'm afraid I can't offer an answer to this one, but you might make your boy choice on the basis of your man one. I'd be inclined to go for the one boy, myself.

LifeOfBriony Sat 24-Aug-13 14:58:36

Thanks Prism. I incline towards one boy (or girl; I have a ballet bag for sale, too), but so often see the plural version and am wondering what is correct.

CointreauVersial Sat 24-Aug-13 15:09:14

Hmmm...would it even need an apostrophe?

Isn't the word "boys" acting almost like an adjective in this case, rather than a possessive?

<strokes chin>

alwaysontop Sat 24-Aug-13 15:49:57

Yes Cointreau is right no apostrophe needed as its descriptive

prism Sun 25-Aug-13 19:53:18

I'm struggling to see how that makes sense, as you wouldn't say "men shirt" or "women shirt", and I can't think of another plural that functions that way, sitting as I am in an Irish pub. There's the odd singular, like "horse box" or "dog kennel", but then there's "fairy princess", which is a princess who is a fairy, not a fairy who belongs to one. So by leaving out the apostrophe altogether you're getting on very dodgy ground.

IMHO. wink

MrsWembley Sun 25-Aug-13 20:35:23

No no no, you'd definitely need an apostrophe, certainly for the reason ^^. It is a possessive s, it's a shirt belonging to a boy or meant to be owned by boys.

Women's or ladies' is a good example of how you'd like to phrase it. One boy or many?

LifeOfBriony Tue 27-Aug-13 20:26:24

Thanks for the replies - at the moment they say "Boy's". I will leave as is for now, but would love a definitive answer if anyone knows.

MissSingerbrains Wed 28-Aug-13 00:16:04

I think it's definitely boys' - same as children's or men's or women's, as mentioned before. The whole 'it's just for one boy' thing is a red herring IMHO, as it was a shirt manufactured for a whole load of potential boy customers smile

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