's
's suffix forming the possessive case of most Modern English nouns, it gradually was extended in Middle English from O.E. -es, the most common genitive inflection of masculine and neuter nouns (Cf. dæg "day," gen. dæges "day's"). But O.E. also had genitives in -e, -re, -an as well as "mutation-genitives" (Cf. boc "book," plural bec), and the -es form never was used in plural (where -a, -ra, -na prevailed), thus avoiding the ambiguity of words like kings'. As a suffix forming some adverbs, it represents the genitive singular ending of O.E. masculine and neuter nouns and some adjectives.
In Middle English, both the possessive singular and the common plural forms were regularly spelled es, and when the e was dropped in pronunciation and from the written word, the habit grew up of writing an apostrophe in place of the lost e in the possessive singular to distinguish it from the plural. Later the apostrophe, which had come to be looked upon as the sign of the possessive, was carried over into the plural, but was written after the s to differentiate that form from the possessive singular. By a process of popular interpretation, the 's was supposed to be a contraction for his, and in some cases the his was actually "restored." [Samuel C. Earle, et al, "Sentences and their Elements," New York: Macmillan, 1911]

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  • S — is the nineteenth letter in the modern Latin alphabet. Its name in English is spelled ess or occasionally es (pronEng|ɛs), generally es when part of a compound word, plural esses. [ S Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989); Merriam Webster …   Wikipedia

  • S — s. m. et f. Lettre consonne, la dix neuvième de l alphabet. Lorsqu on la nomme Esse, suivant la prononciation ancienne et usuelle, le nom de cette lettre est féminin : Une S ( esse ). Lorsqu on l appelle Se, suivant la méthode moderne, ce nom est …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • 's — [OE. es, AS. es.] The suffix used to form the possessive singular of nouns; as, boy s; man s. [1913 Webster] s s A contraction for is or (colloquially) for has. My heart s subdued. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • -'s — [OE. es, AS. es.] The suffix used to form the possessive singular of nouns; as, boy s; man s. [1913 Webster] s s A contraction for is or (colloquially) for has. My heart s subdued. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ś — is an S with an acute accent. It is found in the Polish alphabet and it is used in some other countries:*Slavic: usually IPA| [ɕ] (voiceless alveolo palatal fricative) **Polish language **In the Belarusian Łacinka alphabet for сь IPA|/sʲ/… …   Wikipedia

  • S — ([e^]s), the nineteenth letter of the English alphabet, is a consonant, and is often called a sibilant, in allusion to its hissing sound. It has two principal sounds; one a mere hissing, as in sack, this; the other a vocal hissing (the same as… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ŝ — or ŝ (S circumflex) is a consonant in Esperanto orthography, representing a voiceless postalveolar fricative (either palato alveolar or retroflex); that is, either IPA2|ʃ or IPA| [ʂ] .Esperanto orthography uses a diacritic for all four of its… …   Wikipedia

  • -s — 1. [OE. es, AS. as.] The suffix used to form the plural of most words; as in roads, elfs, sides, accounts. [1913 Webster] 2. [OE. s, for older th, AS. [eth].] The suffix used to form the third person singular indicative of English verbs; as in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • -s — I. noun plural suffix Etymology: Middle English es, s, from Old English as, nominative & accusative plural ending of some masculine nouns; akin to Old Saxon os used to form the plural of most nouns that do not end in s, z, sh, ch, or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • s — I. noun (plural s s or ss) Usage: often capitalized, often attributive Date: before 12th century 1. a. the 19th letter of the English alphabet b. a graphic representation of this letter c. a speech counterpart of orthographic s 2. a graphic… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • -'s — noun suffix or pronoun suffix Etymology: Middle English es, s, genitive singular ending, from Old English es; akin to Old High German es, genitive singular ending, Greek oio, ou, Sanskrit asya used to form the possessive of singular nouns < boy s …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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