The term sheep’s is the singular possessive form of sheep. E.g., “The sheep’s wool needed trimming.” Furthermore, the word sheeps’ is incorrect because the plural form of sheep is sheep. Therefore, the plural possessive is the same as the singular possessive.
The word sheep is somewhat unique because it does not have a standard plural form that you can make by adding an “s.” Furthermore, it is a countable noun, but you do not modify the word when referring to multiple sheep.
Also, as you can see from the table, the singular and plural possessives are both sheep’s. Therefore, the other words in the sentence determine whether you are referring to a single sheep or more than one sheep possessing something.
- Singular: A sheep escaped from the field and ran into people’s gardens.
- Plural: The sheep escaped from the field and were seen running down the highway.
- Singular possessive: The sheep’s foot was injured after it got trapped in a fence.
- Plural possessive: In Greece, people use sheep’s milk to make feta cheese.
Now we have covered the basics of using the plural and possessives of sheep. Please keep reading to learn more about these forms and how to use them correctly in your writing.
The term sheep’s is both the singular and plural possessive form of sheep. Consequently, you use it to mention things that are possessed by one or multiple sheep.
You will know whether a sentence refers to one or multiple sheep by observing the other words in the sentence. For example, in the sentence below, we have the word cry in the singular combined with the singular verb was. Therefore, we know it refers to one sheep.
- The sheep’s cry indicated that it was injured.
However, in this example, the word cries is plural, and we have the plural verb were. Therefore, we know the sentence refers to more than one sheep.
- The sheep’s cries indicated that they were in danger.
The term sheeps’ is incorrect grammar, and you should not use it in your writing. You may think that you can form the plural possessive in this way because this is how you do it for most other words.
However, the word sheep is a special case because it does not have a different standard plural form nor a different plural possessive form. Therefore, when referring to multiple sheep possessing something, you should use sheep’s.
- Incorrect: Sheeps’ milk is highly nutritious.
- Correct: Sheep’s milk is highly nutritious.
The term sheep is the singular and plural form. Therefore, you do not need to modify the word sheep to refer to multiple sheep.
This factor makes many people think that it is an uncountable noun. However, the word sheep is countable.
- I have six sheep on my farm.
- There are too many sheep in this barn.
As this example shows, to refer to a plural quantity of sheep, you only need to add a number or another word that expresses quantity.