James’ or James’s?

The term James’ is a correct singular possessive form of James that is favored in AP Style. E.g., “James’ birthday is in August.” Also, the form James’s with an “s” after the apostrophe is correct and is favored in the Chicago Manual of Style. E.g., “James’s house is beautiful.”

Here are the different singular forms of James, with some example sentences so you can see the forms in context.

Singular possessiveJames’s / James’
  • Singular: James told me that he would be home late tonight.
  • Singular possessive: James’s car is on its last legs.
  • Singular possessive: James’ family has disowned him because of his bad behavior.

As you can see, there are two singular possessive forms of James that are correct. Therefore, which form you decide to use is up to you. However, you ought to ensure consistency by using the same version in any single text.

Furthermore, an example of how both terms can be correct is evident by looking at the term St James’s Park. If you refer to the park in central London, the correct spelling is St James’s Park. However, when referring to the football stadium in Newcastle, the proper spelling is St James’ Park.

Perhaps you are still in doubt over how to use the possessive forms of James. If so, please keep reading the rest of the article to learn more about the possessive forms of James and to ensure that you never get it wrong again.


James’s is a singular possessive form of the name James.

In modern English, the tendency is to use an “s” after the apostrophe when forming possessives. Therefore, it is no surprise that James’s is the more common of the two singular possessive forms in American and British English.

Moreover, if you are writing a document that follows the Chicago Manual of Style, you should use the form James’s.

  • James’s job is quite demanding and stressful.

Furthermore, some people remove the “s” from the end of James’s when the following word starts with “s.” Remember that you must be consistent and use this version throughout the document if you choose to use it once.

  • James’ sister is four years older than him.


The term James’ is also a correct singular possessive form of the name James. Therefore, that means you use it to indicate that something belongs to a person named James.

Also, you should use the version James’ when writing a text in AP Style because their rule specifies that proper nouns do not carry the additional “s.”

  • James’ family is throwing a surprise party for him.