Simple rule for using the possessive apostrophe

1. Write the name of the owner (or owners) 

2. Add an apostrophe

3. Add an s if it sounds right. 

Examples

James has a car .. .. so if we want to talk about the car belonging to James 
1. we write the owner: James
2. we add an apostrophe: James'
3. we add an s after the apostrophe because it sounds right: James’s car
(another example like this: The Jones’s car = the car belonging to the Jones family.) 

Jesus shed his blood … so if we want to talk about the blood of Jesus 
1. we write the owner: Jesus
2. we add an apostrophe: Jesus’
3. we don’t add an s after the apostrophe because it doesn’t sound right: Jesus’ blood
(another example like this is Moses’ staff.)

Sheep have wool…. so if we want to talk about the wool of the sheep (either one sheep or many sheep, because the word can be singular or plural)
1. we write the owner: The sheep
2. we add an apostrophe: The sheep’
3. we add an s because it sounds right: The sheep’s wool

Kingsley wrote books.. .. so if we want to talk about the books Kingsley wrote 
1. we write the owner: Kingsley
2. we add an apostrophe: Kingsley’
3. we add an s because it sounds right: Kingsely’s books

Umpires deliver rulings on how players play football … so if we want to talk about the rulings the umpires give,
1. we write the owners: Umpires
2. we add an apostrophe: Umpires’
3. we do not add an s after the apostrophe because it doesn’t sound right: Umpires’ rulings on football are often contested by fans. 

One pony had a bridle… so if we want to talk about the bridle belonging to that pony
1. we write the owner: The pony
2. we add an apostrophe: The pony’
3. we add an s because it sounds right: The pony's bridle

Many ponies have bridles ... so if we want to talk about the bridles belonging to the ponies
1. we write the owners: The ponies
2. we add an apostrophe: The ponies'
3. we don't add an s because it doesn't sound right: The ponies' bridles

If you can find an example that doesn't conform to this rule, email me at barbara@notunderbondage.com