Girls' or Girls or Girl's: Which is Correct?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on February 28, 2023

'Girls' or 'girls" or 'girl's'; these three words sound exactly the same. So what's the difference? And which one is correct?

The answer is that it depends on what you're trying to say.

  • 'Girls' is the plural form of 'girl'
  • 'Girls" is the plural possessive
  • 'Girl's' is the singular possessive

Should You Use 'Girls' or 'Girls" or 'Girl's'?

Whether to use 'girls' or 'girls" or 'girl's' is much more straightforward than you might think.

Let me lay it out for you:

Singular noun → girl
Plural noun → girls
Singular possessive → girl's
Plural possessive → girls’

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

The definition of the word 'girl' is:

  • Means a young female

It can also mean:

  • Age: A girl is a young female, usually from when she's born until she's a teenager.
  • Family: In a family, a girl can be a daughter or a sister.
  • In Society: People sometimes call a young or young-at-heart female a girl.
  • Friends: A girl can also mean a female friend or classmate who is about the same age.

Defintion for 'Girls': What Does 'Girls' Mean?

'Girls' is the easiest one. It's the plural noun form of 'girl.'

  • So, if you want to talk about more than one girl, i.e., two or more, use 'girls.'

Simple enough, right?

For example:

There were three girls feeding the sheep.

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

Now let's talk possessives. As a reminder, a possessive noun shows ownership.

  • The simple rule is to add an apostrophe and the letter -s to turn a simple noun into a possessive one.

For example:

Have you seen the girl's watch?

Defintion of 'Girls': What Does 'Girls' Mean?

'Girls" is the possessive form of the plural noun' girls.'

  • Say there are several girls, and you want to talk about something of theirs, then you would use 'girls".

The girls' paintings were full of bright colors.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Girls'

The word 'girl' rhymes with 'curl,' 'twirl,' and 'pearl.' Phonetically, it sounds like this:

[ gurl ]

The International Phonetics Alphabet spells it like this:

/ gɜrl /

And if you want to pronounce the plural form of the word or either one of the possessive forms, all you need to do is add the -z sound at the end. Like such:

[ gurlz ]

When to Use 'Girls' or 'Girls" or 'Girl's'

Now, we'll look at some examples of these three words in a sentence, so you can see how they are used in context.

Example Sentences of 'Girls'

  1. Girls were required to marry young back then.
  2. I asked the girls to choose their own outfits.
  3. Can you hear the sound of girls laughing outside?

Example Sentences of 'Girls"

  1. The girls' high school is an excellent one.
  2. I can hear the girls' voices, but I don't know where they are.
  3. The girls' enthusiasm was palpable.

Example Sentences of 'Girl's'

  1. As she walked past me, I wondered about the girl's destination.
  2. Have you seen this girl's mum?
  3. The girl's excitement was visible on her face.

Concluding Thoughts

And that concludes this article on the difference between 'girls' or 'girls" or 'girl's.' I hope you feel more confident now using each of these words.

Let's summarize what we've learned:

  • 'Girls' is the plural form of 'girl'
  • 'Girls" is the plural possessive
  • 'Girl's' is the singular possessive

If you'd like to keep on improving your English, head over now to learn about more confusing words like these.

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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