Individual’s or Individual’s or Individuals?

The word individual’s is the singular possessive of individual. E.g., “Each individual’s bag must be checked before boarding.” In addition, individuals’ is the plural possessive form. E.g., “The individuals’ demands were excessive.” Also, individuals is the standard plural form of individual.

Here is a table that shows each form of individual. As you can see, individual is a regular word, so you form the plural by adding “s.”

Singular possessiveIndividual’s
Plural possessiveIndividuals’

Now, let’s look at how you can use each form in a sentence.

  • Singular: Each individual needs to have their own ticket for the event.
  • Plural: There are two suspicious-looking individuals outside.
  • Singular possessive: The individual’s expression was one of shock and surprise.
  • Plural possessive: Individuals’ lives were put at risk by the aircraft’s pilot.

The word individual is a direct synonym of person. Therefore, you use the plural version to refer to a group of people. Likewise, you use the possessive versions to indicate that something belongs to one person or a group of people.

One of the primary reasons people use the word individuals is because they do not know the names of the people to whom they are referring.

We have covered the basics of using the plural and possessive versions of individual. However, to learn more about how to use these forms correctly, please keep reading the rest of the article.


The term individual’s is the singular possessive form of individual. Consequently, you should use it to indicate that a single person possesses something.

That possession can be an object that is “owned” by the person.

  • The individual’s car indicated that she was a wealthy woman.

Furthermore, it can include something non-tangible, like a state, needs, or opinions.

  • The arrested individual’s statement said he was nowhere near the crime scene.


The word individuals’ is the plural possessive version of individual. Therefore, you use individuals’ to refer to something possessed by a group of people.

There are several reasons why people use the word individuals instead of using a name.

Firstly, people commonly use individuals’ because they do not know the names of the people they are talking about.

  • The four individuals’ demeanor suggested they were up to no good.

Secondly, the names of the people may not be crucial to the message, or it may be too time-consuming to include them all.

  • We will respond to all individuals’ suggestions in the end-of-year staff appraisals.

Finally, companies often use it in a commercial or marketing context to refer to customers.

  • Here at Eco-Spa, we cater to all individuals’ needs and requirements.


The word individuals is the plural version of individual. Consequently, you use it to refer to groups of people.

There are several reasons you would choose to use individuals instead of names or words like people.

To begin with, it is more formal than the words men, women, or people, and you may not know the names of the people.

  • There were a group of loud individuals shouting outside my room last night.

Furthermore, you may know the names of the people, but it is too time-consuming to name them, or the sentence doesn’t require that you name them. Also, because of the meaning, sometimes you are saying, “several people out of a group.”

  • All individuals who achieved 90 or above this semester are eligible to graduate with honors.