Goose’s, Geese’s, or Geeses’?

In the English language, the use of apostrophes in possessive forms can sometimes be perplexing, especially when dealing with irregular plurals like “goose” and “geese.”

Questions arise regarding whether to add an apostrophe and an “s” (‘s), simply an apostrophe (‘), or perhaps something entirely different. Let’s delve into the intricacies of goose’s, geese’s, and geeses’ to shed light on their correct usage.

Goose’s: Singular Possessive

When we talk about the goose’s possession, we are referring to something belonging to a single goose. In this case, the apostrophe followed by an “s” (‘s) indicates ownership or association with a particular goose. For instance:

  • The goose’s feathers glistened in the sunlight.
  • The goose’s nest was hidden among the reeds.
  • I found the goose’s egg nestled in the grass.

Here, the apostrophe-s (‘s) construction clarifies that the feathers, nest, and egg belong to a singular goose.

Geese’s: Plural Possessive

The plural form of “goose” is “geese.” Similarly, when we need to indicate ownership by multiple geese, we employ the plural possessive form geese’s. This form signifies that the possession is jointly held by several geese. Consider the following examples:

  • The geese’s migration patterns are fascinating to observe.
  • We admired the geese’s synchronized flight formations.
  • The lake was teeming with the geese’s offspring.

In these instances, the apostrophe-s (‘s) after “geese” indicates that the migration patterns, flight formations, and offspring belong collectively to a group of geese.

Geeses’: Rare Usage

The term geeses’ is a rare usage and is not typically found in standard English. However, for the sake of completeness, it’s worth mentioning. “Geese” is already a plural noun, so adding an apostrophe and an “s” might seem redundant.

Nevertheless, in very specific contexts where one wants to emphasize multiple groups of geese possessing something, this form could theoretically be used. For instance:

  • The geeses’ territories overlapped, leading to conflicts.
  • Several geeses’ feathers were found scattered around the pond.
  • The researchers studied the geeses’ mating behaviors extensively.

While grammatically permissible in theory, the use of geeses’ is extremely rare and may be considered unconventional in most writing contexts.


In summary, the correct usage of goose’s, geese’s, and geeses’ depends on whether the possession is singular, plural, or emphasizes multiple groups of geese, respectively. Understanding these distinctions allows for clear and precise communication in writing.

So, whether you’re describing the majestic flight of a single goose or the collective behaviors of a flock of geese, employing the appropriate possessive form ensures grammatical accuracy and clarity.

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