Texas’S Or Texas’: Settling The Debate On Possessive Form For Texas

The Lone Star State is known for a lot of things – BBQ, rodeos, and wide-open spaces to name just a few. But one thing that often causes confusion is how to show possession for the state’s name. Should you use ‘Texas’s’ or ‘Texas”? It’s a common question, and if you’re looking for a quick answer: The correct possessive form for the state of Texas is ‘Texas’.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look at why you should avoid ‘Texas’s’, explain the grammar rule behind ‘Texas”, and provide plenty of examples for the proper way to show possession for the state.

Why Avoid Using ‘Texas’s’

When it comes to the possessive form of “Texas,” there is an ongoing debate between using “Texas’s” or “Texas’.” While both forms are grammatically correct, it is generally recommended to avoid using “Texas’s” due to a few reasons.

Not an Accepted Form

The main reason to avoid using “Texas’s” is that it is not an accepted form in most style guides. The predominant style guides, such as The Chicago Manual of Style and The Associated Press Stylebook, suggest using “Texas'” as the possessive form.

These guides are widely used by journalists, writers, and editors to ensure consistency in written works.

By following the accepted form, you can maintain consistency in your writing and adhere to the guidelines set by professional organizations. Using “Texas’s” may lead to confusion or inconsistencies when your work is reviewed or published.

Causes Reader Confusion

Using “Texas’s” can also cause reader confusion. When readers encounter “Texas’s,” they may pause or question the correctness of the possessive form. This can interrupt the flow of reading and distract from the main content.

On the other hand, using “Texas'” is a more familiar and widely recognized form. It is consistently used in various contexts, such as news headlines, book titles, and official documents. By using “Texas’,” you can ensure that your writing is clear and easily understood by a wide audience.

The Grammar Rule Behind ‘Texas”

When it comes to the possessive form of the name “Texas,” there is often confusion about whether to use “Texas’s” or “Texas’.” The correct form actually depends on the grammatical rule for names ending in the letter “s.”

Names Ending in ‘S’

According to the general rule in English grammar, when a singular noun ends in the letter “s,” the possessive form is created by adding an apostrophe followed by an additional “s.” This is why we say “Texas’s” when referring to something that belongs to Texas.

For example, you would say “Texas’s capital is Austin” or “I visited Texas’s famous landmarks.”

It’s important to note that this rule applies to most names ending in “s,” including both geographical and personal names.

Exceptions to the Rule

While the general rule states that the possessive form of names ending in “s” should include an apostrophe and an additional “s,” there are some exceptions to this rule.

  • If the name already ends in “s” and adding another “s” would create an awkward or difficult-to-pronounce sound, it is acceptable to simply add an apostrophe without the additional “s.” For example, “Texas’ weather” or “Chris’ car.”
  • In some cases, both forms are considered acceptable, and it becomes a matter of personal preference or regional variation. So, you might come across examples like “Texas’s economy” and “Texas’ economy,” both of which are correct.

When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to consult a trusted grammar guide or style manual for specific rules and guidelines regarding possessive forms of names.

Proper Examples of ‘Texas” in Sentences

Referring to Something Belonging to Texas

When using the possessive form of Texas, ‘Texas” is used to indicate something that belongs to the state. For example:

  • Texas’ capital is Austin. – This sentence indicates that Austin is the capital city belonging to Texas.
  • The Texas’ flag features a lone star. – This sentence highlights that the flag belongs to the state of Texas and it features a lone star.
  • The Texas’ economy is thriving. – This sentence suggests that the flourishing economy is specific to Texas.

Using ‘Texas” in these examples helps to clarify that the subject or object is directly associated with the state.

Referring to Something Relating to Texas

In addition to indicating ownership, ‘Texas” is also used to show something that is related to Texas. Here are some examples:

  • The Texas’ weather can be unpredictable. – This sentence implies that the weather in Texas is known for being unpredictable.
  • Football is a Texas’ tradition. – This sentence suggests that football is deeply ingrained in the culture and traditions of Texas.
  • Tex-Mex cuisine is a popular choice among Texas’ residents. – This sentence highlights that Tex-Mex cuisine is favored by people living in Texas.

By using ‘Texas” in these sentences, it emphasizes the connection or association between the subject and the state of Texas.

It’s important to note that the use of ‘Texas” as the possessive form is a matter of style and preference. Different style guides may have different recommendations. Ultimately, it’s crucial to be consistent in your usage throughout your writing.

Other State Name Possessives

States Ending in ‘S’

When it comes to forming the possessive form of state names that end in ‘s’, there is some debate among grammarians. The general rule is to add an apostrophe and an ‘s’ to indicate possession. For example, “Texas’s capital city is Austin.”

However, some style guides suggest that when the name already ends in an ‘s’, only an apostrophe should be added. In this case, it would be “Texas’ capital city is Austin.”

Both forms are considered acceptable, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference or the style guide being followed. The most important thing is to be consistent in your usage throughout your writing.

It’s worth noting that this debate is not limited to Texas but extends to other states with names ending in ‘s,’ such as Kansas, Massachusetts, and Illinois. So, whether you write “Kansas’s population” or “Kansas’ population,” both are considered correct.

States Not Ending in ‘S’

For state names that do not end in ‘s,’ the possessive form is formed by adding an apostrophe and an ‘s’. For example, “California’s coastline is breathtaking.” This applies to states like California, Florida, and New York.

It’s important to remember that the possessive form is used to indicate ownership or association. So, when referring to something that belongs to or is associated with a state, such as its landmarks, cities, or people, the possessive form is used.

For more information on grammar rules and style guidelines, you can refer to reputable sources such as the GrammarBook or the Grammarly blog.

Style Guide Preferences

AP Style

The Associated Press (AP) Style Guide is widely used by journalists and news organizations. According to AP style, the possessive form for Texas is “Texas’s.” This means that when indicating ownership or possession, an apostrophe and an “s” should be added to the end of “Texas”.

For example, “Texas’s economy is thriving.”

Chicago Manual of Style

The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is commonly used in the publishing industry. It follows a different rule when it comes to the possessive form of Texas. According to CMS, the possessive form should be “Texas’.” This means that only an apostrophe should be added to the end of “Texas”.

For example, “Texas’ rich history attracts tourists from all over the world.”

MLA Style

The Modern Language Association (MLA) Style is often used in academic writing, especially in the humanities. MLA follows a similar rule to AP style for the possessive form of Texas. According to MLA, the possessive form should also be “Texas’s.”

For example, “Texas’s cultural diversity is reflected in its cuisine.”

It’s important to note that these style guide preferences are not set in stone, and different publications and organizations may have their own variations or preferences.

For more information on the AP Style Guide, you can visit their website: https://www.apstylebook.com/

For more information on the Chicago Manual of Style, you can visit their website: https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html

For more information on MLA Style, you can visit their website: https://style.mla.org/


While Texas’s unique name causes confusion for forming possessives, following the standard grammar rule provides a clear solution. By using ‘Texas” to show possession, you can avoid ambiguity and demonstrate proper language usage. With the right examples and context, you can confidently write about the Lone Star State while avoiding common mistakes. Texas’ long history and culture provides plenty of opportunities to practice getting the possessive right!

So the next time you need to show ownership or relation for something belonging to Texas, remember: no ‘s needed. Following the guidelines and examples here will settle the debate and ensure you get the possessive form correct.

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