Freelance Writing Jobs
Post a job

Parents' or Parent's or Parents: What's the Difference?

Shaun Connell
June 2, 2023

Do you need to know the difference between parents' or parent's or parents? If so, you are in the right place!

Here is the short answer is: 

  • Parents' is the plural possessive form of the noun parent. 
  • Parent's is the singular possessive form of the noun parent.
  • Parents is the plural non-possessive form of the noun parent.

Reading the rest of this post will help to clarify each term and teach you how to use apostrophe to show possession of singular and plural nouns.

What is the Difference between Parents' or Parent's or Parents?

Each of the terms above is a form of parent, but their meaning changes depending on which you use. The differences in the words are in the possession.

  • Parents' and parent's are both possessive forms.
  • Parents is the non-possessive plural form of parent.

Plural and Possessive Rules

In English, you show singular possession by adding an apostrophe to the end of words that end in any letter other than s, for example:

  • Singular Possessive of Parent - Parent's

You add an s to the end of a singular noun to make it plural, unless it ends in s, for example:

  • Plural of Parent - Parents

If you need to show possession by more than one parent, you add s,' for example:

  • Plural possessive of Parent - Parents'

When to Use Parents' or Parent's or Parents

Now that you know what each variation of the word means, are you wondering when to use each?

  • Use parents' to show that two or more parents have something.

For example, you could say:

The parents' retreat is this weekend. They are expecting 50 to 75 attendees.  

  • Use parent's when you are talking about one parent having something.

For example, someone could ask you:

Will you check if the parent's purse is in the waiting room? She thinks she may have left it.

  • Use parents when talking about more than one parent.

As an example, I might say:

The parents are so helpful this year.  

Definition of Parent: What Does Parent Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, parent is a noun that means:

  • Someone who has offspring

It can also mean:

  • Someone that raises and cares for another person
  • The material or source that creates something
  • A business that makes another

A parent can also be a verb meaning:

  • To assume the role of a parent
  • To act like a parent

Synonyms of Parents

  • Mother
  • Father
  • Guardian
  • Caretaker
  • Stepmother
  • Stepparent
  • Stepfather
  • Daddy
  • Mommy
  • Momma
  • Ma
  • Papa
  • Father
  • Forefather
  • Custodian
  • Hatch
  • Spawn
  • Birth
  • Sire
  • Mind
  • Nourish
  • Cradle
  • Generate
  • Breed
  • Hatch
  • Mother
  • Attend
  • Get
  • Multiply

Common Phrases Containg Parent

  • Absentee parent
  • Dedicated parent
  • First-time parent
  • Experienced parent
  • Parents' Night Out
  • Parents' room
  • Helicopter parent
  • Young parent
  • Senior parent
  • Pet parent
  • Parental rights
  • Parent Trap
  • Parental supervision
  • Parenting plan
  • Custodial parent
  • Non-custodial parent
  • Parents are people
  • Parent yourself
  • Protective parent
  • Competitive parent
  • Supportive parent
  • Loving parents
  • Parents' retreat
  • Prying parents
  • Stepparents
  • Parent Orientation
  • Parent-teacher meeting
  • Chaperoning parent
  • Parent volunteer
  • Parent Teacher Association

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce Parents' or Parent's or Parents

Now, let's look at the pronunciations.

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce parents' or parent's or parents:


You can see that you pronounce parents' or parent's or parents using the exact phonetic spelling. So, they sound the same. While this can be confusing, if you follow grammar rules for plural and possessive nouns, your audience should know which version of parents you mean.

Sample Sentences Using Parents' or Parent's or Parents

Finally, look at these sample sentences using each term to ensure you know how to use them correctly.


  • Your parents' home is beautiful. Did you grow up in that house, or did they buy it after you moved out?
  • Your parents' jobs are so interesting. Your dad is a translator, and your mom is a freelance writer.
  • The parents' strict parenting style caused animosity between them and their children.
  • I wish our parents' house did not sell so quickly. But selling our family home gave them the ability to pursue careers such as becoming a travel writer and a food critic.


  • The single parent's dream of becoming a comedy writer was coming true.
  • After years of trying, the parent's career as a B2B writer and proofreader finally took off.
  • If you want to write about your parent's shortcomings, you must start an anonymous blog.
  • The young parent's accomplishments as a poem writer were inspiring.
  • It is a parent's responsibility to feed, nurture, and protect their children. I hope you are ready to become a parent.
  • Why do teens think it is every parent's mission to make their life miserable?


  • The parents have been getting together to write greeting cards.
  • Most parents get irritated when they see their kids lying in bed all day.
  • Parents are not perfect. They are human, so don't be so hard on them when they make mistakes.
  • You must be respectful when you talk to your parents. They sacrifice a lot to make sure that you have everything you need.
  • How many parents do you think will show up to the event tomorrow?


  • The parents' efforts to spend time with their children were in vain. The kids wanted nothing to do with their parents.
  • Do you think your parents owe you something? Your parents' wealth and financial stability result from their hard work.
  • When we were young, our parents started a continent marketing firm. Today, our parents' company employs real estate writers, medical research writers, editors, and transcribers.

Final Advice on Parents' or Parent's or Parents

We covered a lot of information, so let's do a quick recap: 

  • Parents' is a plural possessive noun. 
  • Parent's is a singular possessive noun.
  • Parents is the non-possessive plural form of parent.

You also learned how to make a singular noun plural and create the singular and plural possessive forms of parent. However, if you ever forget which form of parent is correct, you can always come back to this page to review this lesson.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Writing Jobs Newsletter
Subscribe to receive information, free guides and tutorials