The standard singular possessive form of class is class’s. E.g., “The class’s trip was a success.” However, the possessive form class’ is also commonly found in British and American English. E.g., “The class’ mascot in 4b is a tortoise.”
The chart provides a helpful overview of the four forms of the words class:
|Singular possessive||Class’s / Class’|
The regular singular possessive is class’s, although the alternative class’ is also common.
Here are some examples of the different terms in context.
- Singular: The Level V English class I taught this year was my favorite.
- Plural: Mary teaches four classes per day.
- Singular possessive: The class’s teacher created a calm and relaxed ambiance.
- Plural possessive: The classes’ results differed between groups.
Furthermore, many people also use the alternative form of the singular possessive. As shown in this example:
- The class’ teacher was a warm and kind woman called Maria.
However, the Chicago Manual of Style and the AP Stylebook both state that you should use class’s as the singular possessive form of class.
Perhaps you are still unsure how to use possessive forms of class? If that is the case, please keep reading the rest of the article to learn more about the rules and see more examples of the various forms of the term class.
The term class’ with no additional “s” is a singular possessive form of class. However, the version class’ is generally viewed as the least standard of the two forms.
- The class’ blackboard was an old-school style one with chalk.
In everyday writing, whether you choose to use class’ or class’s is your choice.
However, in AP Style and Chicago Manual of Style, you should use class’s instead because a class is not a proper noun, so you do not omit the final “s.”
- The class’s sound system was old and had terrible sound quality.
Class’s is the most correct grammatical singular possessive form of class.
It is also the version you should use for AP Style and the Chicago Manual of Style.
- The class’s pet was a stick insect named Perry.
You use the term class’s to indicate something belongs to a class. However, in many cases, people often use class as an adjective or change the word order, which avoids using the possessive altogether.
As shown in these examples:
- The content of the class was enjoyable.
- The class pet was a parrot named Jack.
The term classes is the standard plural form of class. Therefore, you use it to talk about several classes simultaneously.
You can specify the number of classes, for example:
- She has six classes every day and works in the evenings.
Also, you can refer to all classes in general or within a specific discipline.
- Teaching classes brings most teachers satisfaction.
- Science classes were always my favorite at school.
When you are referring to more than one class, you should take care that the word order is not possessive. In these cases, you need to use the plural possessive form.
- The classes’ themes were not interesting if you had prior knowledge of French.