Community’s or Communities’ or Communities?

Using possessives properly in writing can be tricky, especially when it comes to a word like “community” that has both singular and plural forms. This comprehensive guide will examine the nuances of when to use “community’s”, “communities‘”, or simply “communities”, providing expanded explanations and examples for each context.

Diving Into Singular Possessives

The singular possessive form is used when referring to just one community owning or relating to something. Let’s look at some common scenarios for using “community’s”:

Indicating What Belongs to One Community

You would use “community’s” when something specifically belongs to or is associated with one particular community.

For instance:

The local community’s charming small park was recently renovated through volunteers and donations.

Here “community’s” indicates clear possession – that the park belongs to and is used by this singular community.

We could expand this further in various ways while retaining “community’s” singular possessive form:

Our tight-knit community’s cherished green space, which has served as a gathering place for generations, finally received some much-needed upgrades last month to improve accessibility.

What is correct? Friday’s or Fridays’ or Fridays?

Referencing a Community’s Events

Another common example is using “community’s” when writing about a community’s events:

Attendance and sponsorship increased substantially at our community’s annual summer concert series this past year.

This demonstrates how “community’s” shows one community owning the concert series event.

We could embed this example into a more descriptive context like:

According to the organizers of last month’s hugely popular fundraising gala, proceeds from our small community’s cornerstone summer concert series this year allowed upgrades to the historic town hall’s sound system for the first time since its installation in 1985.

Summary of Using “Community’s”

In both of these expanded examples, “community’s” clearly indicates singular possession – that something belongs to or is associated with one particular community. This singular possessive form is correct when writing about a single, specific community owning something or relating to something.

What is correct? Family’s or Families’ or Families?

Specifying Plural Possessives

Alternatively, you would employ the plural possessive “communities'” when indicating multiple communities owning or relating to something together.

Writing About Joint Efforts Spanning Communities

A common scenario is referring to some effort, initiative, or project that spans across or involves several communities in a possessive sense.

For example:

The new interfaith coalition received substantial funding to support communities’ collaborative initiatives promoting religious tolerance.

Here “communities'” indicates plural possession – that the collaborative initiatives are jointly owned and carried out by those communities together.

We could embed this into a more descriptive explanation like:

A new $500,000 grant will help establish the Interfaith Alliance Network’s wide-ranging cultural programming and awareness campaigns across five diverse communities’ houses of worship, schools, and civic institutions to proactively foster religious tolerance.

Describing Shared Community Resources

You could also use “communities'” when writing about assets, amenities, or events shared collectively by multiple communities:

Fortunately, the flooding this spring did not heavily impact the watershed region’s communities’ shared critical infrastructure.

This demonstrates how “communities'” expresses that the infrastructure belongs collectively to those communities.

We could expand on this further, while still using “communities'” plural possessive form correctly:

Despite some early concerns, officials confirmed that the flash flooding last month inflicted only minor, isolated damage on stormwater and transportation systems relied upon daily by the broader county area’s communities’ residents and businesses.

Summary of Employing “Communities'”

In both expanded examples, using “communities'” plural possessive form indicates joint ownership or association – that various communities collectively share or participate in something together in a possessive sense. This signals that those communities all have ownership of or involvement in the item or concept.

Contrasting with Plural Non-Possessive Usages

At times “communities” is used simply as a plural non-possessive form when referring generally to multiple communities. Let’s explore when this usage is and is not appropriate:

Correct Plural Non-Possessive Scenarios

You would use the regular plural “communities” when simply indicating a non-possessive general reference to more than one community:

The consultant has worked closely with many diverse urban communities during his 30-year career.

Here “communities” just indicates plural – that the consultant worked with many communities – without any possessive implication.

Another example:

Several small communities were awarded economic recovery grants after the factory shut down last fall, though more funding is still needed.

Again this use of “communities” is purely plural, without possession.

Contrasting Possessive Contexts Requiring “Community’s” or “Communities'”

However, it would be incorrect to use the non-possessive “communities” in contexts where possession is implied, like:

❌ Many communities have excellent parks maintained by the city.

✅ Many communities‘ have excellent parks maintained by the city.

Since the parks are presented as belonging to those communities, the plural possessive communities’ form should be used instead of plural non-possessive communities.

Similarly, for a singular possessive context:

❌ The communities event had a great turnout this year.

✅ The community’s event had a great turnout this year.

So in sentences where possession is clear, be sure to use “community’s” or “communities'” instead of “communities”.

Summary of Distinguishing Plural Usage

In short, employ the non-possessive plural “communities” when simply referring to multiple communities without implying possession. But use possessive forms like “community’s” or “communities'” whenever ownership, belonging, or association is clear from the context.

Conclusion: Choosing the Right Community Possessive

Determining the proper form of “community” possessives requires considering carefully whether:

  • Singular possession is intended – use “community’s”
  • Plural/shared possession is meant – use “communities'”
  • Or simply plural non-possessive usage applies – use “communities”

While subtle, correctly employing these possessive forms greatly improves clarity and avoids confusion. Use the expanded examples and explanations provided in this guide as a reference whenever questions arise on distinguishing the possessives around a word as nuanced as “community”. Getting the right form solidifies writing quality and precision.