The word boy’s is the singular possessive form of boy. E.g., “The boy’s jacket is red.” In addition, boys’ is the plural possessive form. E.g., “He attended a boys’ school.” Furthermore, the standard plural form is boys. E.g., “Four boys broke the window.”
The following chart shows the different ways of writing the word boys. As you can see, you do not need to remove the “y” to make the possessive forms.
Instead, you make the singular possessive by adding an apostrophe between the “y” and the “s.” Further, you make the plural possessive by adding the apostrophe to the end of boys.
The following examples show how the different forms appear in a sentence.
- Singular: I think I have seen that boy somewhere before.
- Plural: The boys are out playing in the garden.
- Singular possessive: The boy’s face had guilt written all over it.
- Plural possessive: Many say that politics is one big boys’ club.
In the plural possessive, we refer to more than one boy, so the apostrophe is at the end of the word. While in the singular possessive example, the sentence talks about one boy’s face.
Now that you have learned the basics regarding the word boy, keep reading the rest of the page, where we explain how to use each form in more depth.
The word boy’s is the singular possessive form of boy. Therefore, you use it when you want to say that something belongs to one boy.
People use the singular possessive form boy’s to refer to material items. As shown in this example:
- The boy’s bike was old and rusty.
Furthermore, you can use boy’s to refer to parts of a boy or the things that he says and does.
- His boy’s hair is blonde and wavy, just like his.
- My 5-year-old boy’s behavior at school has been getting worse recently.
The word boys’ is the plural possessive form of boy. Therefore, you use it when something belongs to more than one boy.
Common instances where you may use boys’ include referring to possessions.
- The boys’ football shirts were filthy after the game.
Furthermore, you can also use boys’ to refer to places or services explicitly designated for boys.
- The boys’ hostel downtown has closed.
- The boys’ basketball team lost again yesterday.
The term boys is the standard plural form of boy. Therefore, you can use it to talk about more than one boy as long as the sentence is not possessive.
Furthermore, you may use boys to mention a specific number of boys.
- There are three boys outside acting suspiciously.
In addition, you can use boys to refer to all boys.
- Boys will be boys.
Finally, for certain plural possessives, such as the boys’ basketball team, people often use the term boys in a non-possessive form, which functions like an adjective.
Therefore, many regard the following example as incorrect grammar, but it is still common nonetheless.
- Mauricio is on the boys basketball team.