Charles’ or Charles’s?

The term Charles’s is the more common way to form the singular possessive of Charles. E.g., “Charles’s house is huge.” However, the word Charles’ without an additional “s” at the end is also correct and it is a matter of preference which you use. E.g., “Charles’ wife is a doctor.”

The following table shows the singular forms of the name Charles.

Singular possessiveCharles’ / Charles’s

As you can see, you can form the singular possessive in two ways because the word Charles ends with an “s.”

According to Google Ngram, the more common possessive form is Charles’s. This is also the form you should use follow for APA Style and Chicago Manual of Style.

Alternatively, you can use the less popular version, which is Charles’. You should use this version with no additional “s” if you follow AP Style.

Considering the above rules, both of the following sentences are correct:

  • Charles’s car has seen better days.
  • Charles’ children attend the same school as mine.

However, if you start using one version in a text, you should continue with that version until the end.

Perhaps you still have doubts about the different forms of the name Charles. If so, please continue reading the rest of the page to avoid making mistakes in the future.


The term Charles’s is the more popular singular possessive version of the name Charles.

Therefore, you use it to indicate that something belongs to a person named Charles.

Furthermore, style guides like the Chicago Manual of Style and APA Style suggest that you should use this singular possessive form with the additional “s.”

  • Charles’s law degree was worth all the hard work because now he has the job of his dreams.

Sometimes people avoid adding the “s” at the end when the word after it begins with “s.” However, this is just a preference, and the other version is still acceptable.

  • Correct: Charles’ speech left the crowd in awe.
  • Correct: Charles’s speech left the crowd in awe.

Although, whichever version you choose to use, you must be consistent and use the same version throughout the text.


The term Charles’ with an apostrophe and no additional “s” is a singular possessive form of the name Charles.

However, it has never been as popular as Charles’s with an “s,” although Charles’ is the correct version if you use AP Style.

  • Charles’ children look just like him.

However, although Charles’s is more common, Charles’ is clearer because if the following word starts with an “s,” then you avoid having three instances of the letter “s” in a row.

  • Charles’ socks are all over his bedroom floor.

Also, if you choose to use the version without the second “s,” you should use that version throughout the document, regardless of whether the following word starts with “s.”