Nicholas’ or Nicholas’s?

Nicholas’ is the singular possessive form you should use when following AP Style. E.g., “Nicholas’ house is wooden.” Furthermore, Nicholas’s is also a singular possessive form and you should use this form when following the Chicago Manual of Style. E.g., “Nicholas’s car is a BMW.”

The following chart shows the different forms of the name Nicholas.

Singular possessiveNicholas’ / Nicholas’s
Plural possessiveNicholases’

Here are some examples of each form in context.

  • Singular: My brother is called Nicholas.
  • Plural: One of the three Nicholases in our school is on a scholarship.
  • Singular possessive: Nicholas’ restaurant is the best in town.
  • Singular possessive: I think Nicholas’s Garden is beautiful.

As you can see, two singular possessive forms are correct. One with an apostrophe after the “s” and the other with an apostrophe plus “s.”

In formal writing, you should use Nicholas’ if you are following the rules of the AP Stylebook. However, you should use Nicholas’s if you are following those of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Furthermore, the plural version of Nicholas is Nicholases, although it is not common to use names in either the plural or plural possessive forms.

However, despite the scarcity of the plural possessive form, this is how it looks in context.

  • Both Nicholases’ wives will be attending the wedding.
  • Both Nicholases’ cars are parked in the driveway, making it easy to mix them up.
  • The Nicholases’ children play together every weekend, strengthening the bond between the families.
  • The two Nicholases’ homes are next to each other, which can be confusing for the mail carrier.

Using the wrong possessive form is a mistake you don’t want to make in your writing. You should keep reading to learn more about the possessive forms of Nicholas.


The term Nicholas’s is the standard singular possessive form of Nicholas. You should use it when you want to mention that something belongs to a person called Nicholas.

A person can possess both physical and non-physical items, as shown in these examples.

  • Nicholas’s wife is a high school teacher.
  • Nicholas’s briefcase is made of Italian leather.
  • Nicholas’s dog has won multiple awards at local shows.
  • Everyone is impressed by Nicholas’s knowledge of world history.
  • Nicholas’s garden is the envy of the neighborhood, with its vibrant flowers and manicured lawns.

In recent decades the trend for singular possessives to include an “s” after the apostrophe has grown. Consequently, since the 1980s, Nicholas’s has been more common in British and American English.

Furthermore, you should use Nicholas’swhen you write according to the rules of the Chicago Manual of Style.


The term Nicholas’ is a singular possessive form of the name Nicholas. Therefore, you should use it when you want to say something belongs to a Nicholas.

When writing a text according to the Associated Press Stylebook rules, you should use Nicholas’ because it is a proper noun.

You use it to refer to things such as family members or jobs.

  • Nicholas’ girlfriend is Canadian.
  • I admire Nicholas’ profession because medicine is a complex field in which to work.
  • Nicholas’ sister studies marine biology.
  • Everyone is excited about Nicholas’ upcoming wedding.
  • Many are unaware of Nicholas’ involvement in charitable activities outside of his day job.

In addition, you can use Nicholas’ to refer to physical or non-physical traits.

  • Nicholas’ motorbike is over thirty years old.
  • We all think that Nicholas’ character is charming.
  • Nicholas’ watch was a gift from his grandfather and holds great sentimental value.
  • Nicholas’ patience with the children is truly commendable.
  • One can’t help but notice Nicholas’ keen sense of style.

Example Sentences

In case you want to see some more example sentences, we’ve got you covered!

Remember, when following the Chicago Manual of Style, you should use Nicholas’s:

  • Nicholas’s computer has the latest software installed.
  • We’re going to Nicholas’s party next Saturday.
  • I was surprised to learn that the artwork on the wall is Nicholas’s creation.
  • Nicholas’s room is always tidy and organized.
  • The song Nicholas’s band just released is topping the charts.

On the other side, when following AP Style, make sure to use Nicholas’:

  • Nicholas’ book collection spans several genres, from mystery to science fiction.
  • I borrowed Nicholas’ jacket because it started raining unexpectedly.
  • Everyone was captivated by Nicholas’ piano performance last night.
  • Nicholas’ hat was left behind at the café.
  • The cookies on the counter are Nicholas’, so don’t eat them.

That’s all there is to know about the possessive form of Nicholas. If you don’t know which style guide you follow, remember that both Nicholas’ and Nicholas’s are correct. Therefore, you can just use the one you like the most. Easy, right?