Mans or Man's or Mans': Which is Correct?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on February 28, 2023

Are you wondering which to use ‘mans,’ ‘man’s’ or ‘mans’’? And which one is correct? We’ll cover that in detail in this article, plus you’ll learn how to use all of the correct ones in a sentence. You’ll also learn about pronunciation and usage.

The short answer is:

  • ‘Man’s’ is correct and implies possession (something that belongs to the man). It could also be a contraction for ‘man is.’
  • ‘Mans’ is incorrect. The correct way to pluralize ‘man’ is men.
  • ‘Mans’’ is also incorrect and should never be used in the English language.

‘Mans’ or ‘Man’s’ or ‘Mans’’ – Which is Correct?

Are you wondering whether to use 'mans,' 'man's' or 'mans''? As you just learned, the only correct way to express this word is ‘man’s.’

The other two versions are incorrect.

‘Man’s’ can be a contraction for ‘man is.’

For example:

‘That man’s not going to survive through the night. I don't know what I'd do if that were me.’

But it can also be used to express possession.

For example:

‘That man’s hat just blew away in the wind.’

‘Mans’ or ‘Mans’’ or ‘Man’s’ 

The first in this series is not an actual word in the English language. You’ve learned that the plural version of man is ‘men.’ Therefore, ‘mans’ would be incorrect.

And we know that ‘man’s’ is correct, and it can be used to express a contraction or possession.

Finally, we’ve learned that ‘mans’’ is also incorrect.

Unless, of course, you’re talking about slang or African American Vernacular English (AAVE).

  • For example, you might hear someone say, ‘This is my mans.’ This means that it’s their friend or close acquaintance.

In that case, you might hear ‘mans’’ used to express possession of a friend.

  • For example, you might hear, ‘My mans’ whip.’ (my friend’s car)

Although this is acceptable in informal settings, it's best to avoid this in your writing.

Definition and Meaning of ‘Man’s’

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of ‘man’ is:

  • An individual human or an adult male human.

It could refer to a husband, a lover, or a neighbor. It could be your boss, your local politician, or your doctor.

The word can also mean to give people or to put members of a ship’s team in a certain place.

It could also mean to serve in the force to accustom to humans and the human environment, as well as to furnish with strength or powers of resistance.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘Man’s’

Are you wondering about the correct pronunciation of this word? Here’s a short guide.

To pronounce ‘man’s’ correctly, here’s the phonetic spelling:


How to Use ‘Man’s’ in a Sentence

Now that you know what the word means and how to pronounce it let’s see some examples of how to use it in a sentence.

  • Go grab that man’s coat for him. He looks like he might need a little bit of help.
  • That man’s jacket is a weird color. It reminds me of the suit jackets that Harry and Lloyd wore in Dumb and Dumber.
  • I don’t know why that man’s standing in the middle of the road. Maybe we should call and ask for help.
  • We were just standing outside when all of a sudden a man’s boot just fell from the sky out of nowhere. We were all dumbfounded.
  • My man’s going to go to the mall for me while I do the laundry. Isn’t he the sweetest man in the world?
  • That afternoon we were going to go to the beach, but I changed my mind because it just didn’t seem like a good day to go. The overcast sky was one of the main reasons.
  • The man’s stutter was just too much. I could barely understand what he was saying.

Final Thoughts on ‘Mans’ and ‘Man’s’ and ‘Mans’’

To recap, we learned the following:

  • ‘Man’s’ is the only correct way to say or write this phrase, and it implies possession (something that belongs to the man). It might also be used as a contraction for ‘man is.’
  • ‘Mans’ is incorrect and ungrammatical and should never be used. The correct way to pluralize ‘man’ is men.
  • ‘Mans’’ is also incorrect and should be avoided in your writing

Knowing what you know, you should stick to using the version with the apostrophe and ‘s.’

If you ever get stuck on anything, you can always come back and review what you learned – no shame in that. Plus, you can also check out our other content that is filled with confusing words and phrases you might see as you’re learning English. Feel free to check it out whenever you need to.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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