Bus’s or Buses’?

Determining whether to use “bus’s” or “buses” in your writing can be confusing. This article will explain the difference between these two terms and when to use each bus possessive form. We’ll look at some example scenarios to help clarify proper use in English.

Key Takeaways: Bus Possessives

  • Use “bus’s” for singular bus possession
  • Use “buses'” for plural bus possession
  • Use “Bus’s” for company/organization possession
  • Check context carefully to determine correct form
  • Reword to improve clarity when needed

Singular Bus Possession

When you want to show that one bus possesses something, you would use the singular possessive “bus’s”. Here’s an example sentence:

The bus’s route goes through downtown.

In this sentence, “bus’s” indicates that the single bus owns the route. You would not use “buses” here since there is only one bus.

Another example:

The bus’s windshield was cracked.

Again, “bus’s” shows that the windshield belongs to that particular bus.

Use “bus’s” when attributing something to a single or individual bus.

Read More: Body’s or Bodies’ or Bodies?

Plural Buses Possession

When multiple buses possess something together, you would use the plural possessive “buses”. For example:

The buses’ timetables were updated.

Here, the new timetables belong to the group of buses. “Buses'” indicates joint possession.


The buses’ tires were worn out from overuse.

The tires belong to the set of buses rather than one bus.

Use “buses'” when multiple buses share ownership of something.

Special Case: Bus Company Possession

There is one special case where you might use Bus’s with a capital B. This form indicates possession by a company or organization named “Bus”. For example:

Bus’s headquarters are located downtown.

Here, “Bus’s” refers to the headquarters belonging to the company Bus. This is an exception to the general rule about singular bus possession.

Use “Bus’s” (with a capital) only when referring to possession by the specific company.

Don’t miss reading the article on Community’s or Communities’ or Communities?

When to Use Each Term

To summarize proper style and use:

  • Bus’s: Singular bus possession (a bus’s route)
  • Buses’: Plural buses possession (the buses’ schedules)
  • Bus’s: Possession by the company Bus (Bus’s CEO)

Use “bus’s” for one bus, “buses'” for multiple buses, and “Bus’s” for the company. Pay close attention to the context to determine which form to use in your writing.

Common Possessive Issues

There are a few common issues that can come up regarding bus possession:

Confusing Plural and Singular

It’s easy to mistakenly use “buses'” when you mean a single bus’s possession:

❌ The buses’ route is delayed.

This implies multiple buses share the route. But if there’s just one bus, you’d fix it to:

✅ The bus’s route is delayed.

Conversely, incorrectly using “bus’s” for a plural can occur:

❌ The bus’s arrived late today.

Since multiple buses are involved, it should be:

✅ The buses arrived late today.

Carefully check if the sentence refers to one bus or several.

You might love reading other correct uses of possessives like Friday’s or Fridays’ or Fridays?

Issues with Bus Companies

It’s common to confuse bus company possession with regular plural buses:

Buses’ profits are down this quarter.

But unless multiple buses are earning profits, this should be:

Bus’s profits are down this quarter.

This correctly shows the company Bus having lower profits.

Use the capitalized “Bus’s” version for possession by bus companies to avoid confusion.

Apostrophe Issues

Sometimes the apostrophe gets mistakenly placed on plurals instead of singular possessives:

❌ The buses’s route was delayed.

But the apostrophe should only accompany “bus’s”, so you would fix this to:

✅ The buses route was delayed.

Apostrophes only attach to the singular “bus’s”, not plural “buses”.

By keeping these potential issues in mind, you can catch mistakes and determine whether “bus’s” or “buses” is correct for the context.

When in Doubt, Reword

If you find a sentence ambiguous regarding bus possession, it often helps to reword for clarity:

The buses route took longer today.

This phrasing leaves it unclear if one bus or many buses are meant. Instead you can write:

The route used by the buses took longer today.

This conveys the plural sense without relying on the confusing “buses'” possessive form.

Rewording is an easy way to improve clarity when unsure whether to use “bus’s” or “buses’.”

Don’t miss reading the right possessives of Family’s or Families’ or Families?


Properly distinguishing between “bus’s” and “buses'” may take practice, but by understanding the various applications of bus possessives in English, you can determine which option works best for your writing. Paying attention to the scenario and plural or singular meaning will help ensure you choose the right term for the situation.

Leave a Comment