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Businesses, business’ or business’s, which is correct?
The noun business has an ‘s’ at the end, which may cause some confusion in writing. But it needn’t be so difficult!
We form the singular and plural possessive the same way we do with other nouns.
Singular Noun: Business
Singular Possessive: Business’ or Business’s
Plural Noun: Businesses
Plural Possessive: Businesses’
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A business is something that provides goods or services for money. It can also be referred to as an “enterprise.”
For example, “he’s in the business of selling cars.”
The word can also be used as an adjective, as in “business model” or “business plan.”
Other Examples of Sentences with Business
The following examples show how to write business in sentences:
- Jane runs a successful business in downtown Los Angeles.
- My father has been in the business of selling cars his whole life.
- We need to develop a solid business plan if we want to grow our company.
- The new business model has been very successful so far.
Business’ is a possessive noun used to show ownership. It can also be spelled as business’s.
For example, “the business’ profits were lower this quarter than last.”
Other Examples of Sentences with Business’
The following examples show how to write business’ in sentences:
- The business’ profits were lower this quarter than last, which may cause problems for the company in the long run.
- The business’ employees are its most valuable asset.
- We should take a look at how other companies handle their business’ social media accounts before we make any decisions.
- The business’ website will be launching soon, and we need to make sure everything is perfect before it goes live.
Other Examples of Sentences with Business’s
As you can see from the following examples, we can also spell it as business’s
- The business’s profits were lower this quarter than last, which may cause problems for the company in the long run.
- The business’s employees are its most valuable asset.
- We should take a look at how other companies handle their business’s social media accounts before we make any decisions.
- The business’s website will be launching soon, and we need to make sure everything is perfect before it goes live.
The plural of business is businesses. We use this word when there is more than one business. Alternative words to businesses include ‘organizations’ and ‘enterprises.’
For example, “There are a lot of businesses in this town.”
Other Examples of Sentences with Businesses
The following examples show how to write businesses in sentences:
- The digital marketing industry is constantly changing, making it hard for businesses to keep up.
- These businesses have been in operation for over 20 years.
- Businesses need to be careful when handling customer data.
- Different businesses have different approaches to social media.
The possessive form of businesses is businesses’. This is used to show that many companies own something.
For example, “The government’s new regulations infringed upon the businesses’ rights.”
Other Examples of Sentences with Businesses’
The following examples show how to write businesses’ in sentences:
- The businesses’ employees are their most valuable asset.
- We should take a look at how other companies handle their businesses’ social media accounts before we make any decisions.
- The businesses’ websites will be launching soon, and we need to make sure everything is perfect before they go live.
- Many businesses’ social media accounts were hacked over the weekend, making it difficult for them to communicate with their customers.
When to Use Business’ or Business’s
Both business’ and business’s is correct.
If you are unsure whether to use business’ or business’s when writing, check your style guide or ask your boss or professor. Depending on which style guide you are using, you may need to change the spelling.
For example, according to the AP style guide, it would be spelled as business’.
If you are not restricted to a particular style guide, feel free to use whichever spelling you please. Just be sure to stick with that spelling for the rest of your essay and stay consistent.
If you don’t know whether to say business’ or business’s, you can always say “X of the business” or “the organization’s Y.”
In this way, you avoid the confusing apostrophes and triple ‘s’!
There you have it! The plural of business is businesses. Use business’ when it is singular possessive and businesses’ when it is the plural possessive form.
Don’t forget, if you are ever unsure about which spelling to use, you can always consult a style guide or ask your boss or professor. And as a last resort, you can use “X of the business” or “the organization’s Y.”
We hope this article has helped clear up any confusion you may have had about the plural of business and the possessive forms of business. Good luck in your writing endeavors!
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I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.
I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!
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1 thought on “Businesses or Business’ (Singular, Plural & Possessive)”
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