Bus’ or Bus’s?

The word bus’s is the standard singular possessive form of bus. E.g., “The bus’s door was stuck shut.” Furthermore, the term bus’ is correct and the version you use is a matter of preference. E.g., “The bus’ seat was wet from the rain.”

Here is a table so you can see the different possessive and plural forms of bus.

Singular possessiveBus’s / Bus’
Plural possessiveBuses’

Here are some examples of the different forms in context:

  • Singular: The bus was full of people, so it didn’t stop and pick me up.
  • Plural: The buses all left the depot at the same time.
  • Singular possessive: The bus’s station burnt down during the fire.
  • Plural possessive: None of the buses’ drivers had any experience driving a bus.

You can see that there are two singular possessive forms, and they are both correct. However, using bus’ rather than bus’s is essentially a stylistic choice, except for in academic writing.

Furthermore, in formal writing that follows either AP Style or the Chicago Manual of Style, you should use the form bus’s as the singular possessive.

Lastly, you should remember that if you start using one version of the singular possessive in a text, you should be consistent throughout the text and use the same version.

Perhaps you still have doubts about the possessive forms of bus. If so, please keep reading the rest of the article, where we explain more about the possessive and plural forms of the term bus.


The term bus’s is the standard singular possessive form of the term bus.

Therefore, you use it to indicate that something belongs to a bus, usually a part of the bus itself, including the driver and passengers. It could also be a timetable, station, or another external object.

Here are some good example sentences of how to use bus’s correctly:

  • The bus’s windows steamed up because of the cold weather.
  • The bus’s engine made a loud noise, signaling it was time for a repair.
  • I accidentally left my umbrella on the bus’s back seat.
  • The bus’s timetable was changed, so I missed my usual morning ride.
  • The advertisement on the bus’s side was promoting a new restaurant in town.
  • Due to the rain, the bus’s floors were slippery, so passengers had to be careful.

Regarding the academic writing rules, both AP Style and the Chicago Manual of Style state you should use bus’s for the singular possessive form.

Furthermore, of the two singular possessive forms of bus, the term bus’s is the more common form in the US.

Next, we’ll explain when you should use bus’.


The term bus’ is also a correct singular possessive form of the word bus.

The term bus’ is more common than bus’s in British English. However, in American English, the term bus’s is the slightly more common form.

Ultimately, in everyday writing, the choice of which to use is yours and is purely stylistic.

  • The bus’ windows were smashed by youths throwing bottles.
  • The bus’ seats were made of sticky old leather.
  • The bus’ horn was malfunctioning, making a strange noise every time it was pressed.
  • I noticed the bus’ route was different due to the ongoing construction work.
  • People were annoyed because the bus’ air conditioning wasn’t working properly.
  • The advertisement on the bus’ exterior was peeling off due to wear and tear.
  • Due to a minor collision, the bus’ rear light was broken.

However, in formal writing, you should not use bus’ for AP Style or Chicago Manual of Style. This is because bus is not a proper noun, so you do not omit the additional “s” after the apostrophe.

Now, let’s have a look at the word buses.


The word buses is the plural term for bus. Therefore, you use it to refer to multiple buses in non-possessive sentences.

You can use it to refer to a specified number of buses:

  • Four buses were involved in a twenty-car pile-up this morning.
  • Two buses were delayed because of the heavy rainfall.
  • Three buses passed by before the one I needed finally arrived.
  • Only five buses operate on this route during weekends.
  • Seven buses were commissioned for the school trip next week.

Alternatively, you can use it to refer to all buses:

  • Traveling on buses is a cheap way to see the country.
  • Buses in our city are equipped with free Wi-Fi for passengers.
  • Buses often contribute less to traffic congestion than individual cars.
  • Many people prefer taking buses to reduce their carbon footprint.
  • Buses provide a convenient means of transportation for those without cars.

One thing you should take care of when referring to multiple buses is that the thing you refer to does not belong to the buses. In these cases, you need to use the plural possessive form.

As shown in this example:

  • The buses’ drivers were unhappy with the behavior of the children on all three buses.