‘Clients or Client's or Clients': What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on March 12, 2024

Do you need to know whether to use clients or client's or clients'? If so, you are in luck.

Here is a quick overview in case you are in a hurry: 

  • Clients is the plural form of the noun client
  • Client's is the singular possessive form of the noun, client, defined as someone who seems the professional service, advice, or expertise of another. 
  • Clients' is the plural possessive form of the noun client. 

The answer above gives you an idea of the meaning of each term. However, there is much more to learn about when and how to use each form. So, keep reading!

What is the Difference Between Clients, Client's, and Clients'?

Each client variation indicates a different form or function of the word.

Clients is the plural form, which means more than one client. Clients' is also a plural form of the noun, but adding -s' to client shows that the plural noun is possessive.

Out of these three options, only client's is a singular noun. By adding the -'s to client, you are showing that one client has or owns something.

Definition of 'Clients': What Does 'Clients' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 'clients' is a plural noun defined as:

  • A group of two or more dependents or people under the protection of another
  • A group of two or more people or groups who seek the representation, services, or expertise of another
  • Customers
  • People who are served by or utilize the services of a social or government agency
  • Computers in a network that use the data and files provided by a specific server
  • Two or more software programs that give computers the ability to function as clients on a server

Definition of 'Client's': What Does 'Client's' Mean?

The same source defines 'client's' as the singular possessive form of client. So, it means:

  • The traits, characteristics, items, accomplishments, skills, or other things owned by someone who seeks the protection or professional services of another

Definition of 'Clients': What Does 'Clients' Mean?

Additionally, 'clients' is the plural possessive form of client.

So, it means:

  • The actions, traits, characteristics, attributes, or possessions of a group of two or more people or organizations that seek or engage the services or expertise of another.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce Clients, Client's, and Clients'

When it comes to the pronunciation of terms like these, it can be confusing. However, pronunciation is vital to learning and using each variation accurately in written and verbal communications.

So, here is a guide to help you pronounce clients or client's or clients'.

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce clients correctly:


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce client's correctly:


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce clients correctly':


Unfortunately, when you add s, -'s, or -s' to client, the pronunciation is identical. So, you must correct spelling so people understand your message.

Tips: When and How to Use Clients, Client's, and Clients'

Learning the definition and pronunciation of each term is helpful, but you may still be wondering how and when to use each. So, here are some tips for using clients, client's, and clients'.

  • Use clients when referring to two or more customers.

For example, I might say:

Our clients are the best! They are so friendly and appreciative. 

  • Use client's to show that one client has something.

So, you could say:

The client's expectations were ridiculous. 

  • Use clients' to show that more than two clients possess something.

As an example, you can say:

If you are not focused on your clients' needs, they will do business with your competitors. 

Sample Sentences Using Clients, Client's, and Clients'

Now that you have a good idea of the meaning of each term read these sample sentences to ensure you remember how and when to use them.


  • We are hosting an event to show our clients how much we appreciate them.
  • Our clients met us at the restaurant five minutes before 7 p.m.
  • Will you email our clients asking them if they need anything before the holiday weekend?
  • To maintain a steady flow of income, you should always be marketing to new clients.
  • If you have too many clients, I don't mind taking some off your hands.
  • Showing clients you appreciate them can help you retain business and live a happier life.


  • Our client's concerns were valid. However, we answered all of her questions to the best of our ability.
  • We strive to exceed each client's expectations.
  • Our client's new office is innovative and inviting.
  • Listening to your client's needs and concerns ensures you know what they expect.
  • If your client's only issue is the price, show them the value we offer compared to other companies in our industries.


  • We visit our clients' offices semi-annually to ensure that we are providing them with the best customer experience possible.
  • To provide excellent customer service, you must pay careful attention to your clients' needs.
  • You need to log all of your clients' responses in our CRM system.
  • We aim to please because our success depends on our clients' satisfaction and referrals.
  • After reading our clients' suggestions, we decided to add a new color to our product line. However, the product has been selling as well as we expected.

Final Review: Clients, Client's, and Clients'

Finally, you are almost finished with this lesson. But before you go, here is a recap of what you learned about how to use clients or client's or clients':

  • Clients is the non-possessive plural form of client. 
  • Client's is the possessive singular form of client. 
  • Clients' is the plural possessive form of client. 
  • Client is a noun that means a person or entity that enlists assistance, protection, services, or products from a person or business. 

Remembering how to use plural and possessive forms of words can be challenging. So, if you need a reminder of which version of client to use, you can always return to this lesson for a quick review.

In the confusing words section here, you can also learn about hundreds of other frequently misused, mispronounced, and misspelled terms. Each guide includes definitions, pronunciations, and sample sentences to help you learn and remember the correct way to use the terms the post covers.

Whether you are learning English as a second language or a native speaker who wants to improve your writing and communication skills, they are an excellent resource.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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