The term brother’s is the singular possessive form of brother. E.g., “Tomorrow is my brother’s birthday.” Furthermore, the term brothers’ is the plural possessive. E.g., “My brothers’ wives are both doctors.” Finally, brothers is the plural form. E.g., “My brothers are coming to visit this weekend.”
This chart shows the four forms in a more straightforward format:
As you can see, you only need to put the apostrophe when you use the possessive form of brother.
These four examples show how each term appears in a sentence:
- Singular: I have an older brother called Jack.
- Plural: One of my younger brothers loves swimming.
- Singular possessive: My brother’s job is incredibly stressful.
- Plural possessive: Her brothers’ houses are both bigger than hers.
Please keep reading the rest of the article, where we explain how to use the different forms of brother in more detail.
We have some fantastic examples to show you how to use brother’s, brothers’, and brothers in a sentence.
The term brother’s is the singular possessive form of brother.
Therefore, you use it when you mention something belonging to a single brother.
The examples below show how you can use brother’s correctly.
In the first, we use the apostrophe to show that the name belongs to Marcus:
- My brother’s name is Marcus.
Whereas in the second, there is no name or any other noun that can belong to Marcus so you omit the apostrophe:
- My brother is called Marcus.
Furthermore, these two examples show how the thing possessed by someone can be both tangible and non-tangible.
The term can refer to a physical item like a car or house.
Here are some great examples of that context:
- My brother’s house is more like a mansion than a house.
- My brother’s car has been giving him problems lately.
- I often borrow my brother’s laptop for work.
- Have you seen my brother’s new shoes? They’re quite stylish.
Alternatively, it can refer to characters, names, or personality traits.
Review these examples to see how brother’s can be used to refer to this:
- My brother’s personality is somewhat combative because he loves arguing.
- My brother’s determination is truly commendable.
- My brother’s sense of humor is quite dry, but it always makes me laugh.
To sum up, you should use brother’s if one brother possess something.
Now, that we got that all settled, let’s see when it is correct to use the word brothers’. It’s a bit different since it is used to refer to multiple brothers.
So, keep reading!
The term brothers’ is the plural possessive form of brother.
Consequently, that means you should put the apostrophe on the outside of the “s” when you refer to something belonging to two or more brothers.
Take a look at these two examples:
- My brothers’ wives are both teachers. (Two brothers/two wives)
- My brothers’ wives are all teachers. (Unspecified number of brothers and wives)
Here are some more example sentences for you to review:
- My brothers’ room is on the second floor.
- The brothers’ joint business venture turned out to be highly successful.
- The two brothers’ favorite pastime is fishing together on weekends.
- The brothers’ parents were proud of their achievements.
- The gift was from the brothers’ shared savings.
So, brothers’ should be used if multiple brothers possess something.
Lastly, we’ll have a closer look at the word brothers. This one is quite different from the other two, brother’s and brothers’.
The term brothers with no apostrophe is the plural form of brother.
You can use it to refer to two or more brothers as long as you are not mentioning something that a brother possesses.
You can use it to refer to a small number of brothers.
Here’s an example:
- All my friends’ brothers are nice guys.
Alternatively, it can refer to all brothers in a general sense.
You can refer to this example:
- Older brothers are renowned for bullying their younger siblings.
We have gathered some more sentences in case you need to see some more examples of how to use brothers:
- My two brothers are both engineers.
- I always enjoy the stories she tells about her brothers.
- The brothers were known in their community for their charitable work.
- All of the brothers are talented musicians.
- The brothers are planning a road trip together next summer.
So, brothers should only be used if multiple brothers are mentioned and you don’t refer to any of their possessions in the sentence.
That’s all for now! We trust that you are now confident in using brother’s, brothers’, and brothers in your writing.