General Question

julia999's avatar

Do I use an apostrophe when writing "the marble's weight"?

Asked by julia999 (338 points ) March 28th, 2010

Hello there
As far as I am aware, the “weight” belongs to the marble, and so there should be apostrophe, i.e. “the marble’s weight”.

But Word 2007 insists that it should be “marbles weight”.

Could someone please clear this dilemma up for me?

Thank you
Julia

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21 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

You are right; Word is wrong. Word.

janbb's avatar

Word; meaning I agree with @CyanoticWasp that you are right.

nope's avatar

Apostrophe for sure.

Buttonstc's avatar

Are you speaking of one marble or a group of marbles?

Both need an apostrophe but the placement differs.

Microsoft Word is wrong. Not surprisingly.

Brian1946's avatar

You use the apostrophe and Word 2002 agrees with us.

gailcalled's avatar

Expand it into “the weight of the marble.” That shows you the necessity for the apostrophe. Marble’s weight. Milo’s Nobel Prizes, Gail’s whatever.

@Buttonstc makes a good point. Marbles’ weight would mean you have all your marbles in one basket.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

The bigger question is why you would let the Microsoft make you doubt yourself? Consider switching to Open Office which doesn’t complain about such things.

Jeruba's avatar

Yes. Apostrophe. Yes, without a doubt. Don’t take your grammatical guidance from software.

Also Word 2007 should be sunk to the bottom of the deepest sea.

janbb's avatar

Word clearly has lost its marbles in this case.

lilikoi's avatar

You are right both in your conclusion and reasoning, but a cleaner way to put it would be to just say “the weight of the marble”.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Gail

Just don’t necessarily assume that I have all my marbles :D

gailcalled's avatar

@lilikoi: Did I not just write that^^?

Rarebear's avatar

I would write, “The weight of the marble.”

Buttonstc's avatar

@lilikoi

Your example presumes that she is writing about one marble alone.

That really wasn’t clear at all from the info given.

Context determines usage.

The marbles’ weight.
OR
The marble’s weight.

Depending upon whether it’s one marble or a group of them together. I sort of doubt that most people are weighing one lone marble. Notice I said most. There could be exceptional folks with finely calibrated scales :)

gailcalled's avatar

The apostrophe was invented to shorten things; unfortunately it’s been a problem to define its proper use…but things can get cumbersome…the weight of the marbles stolen by of Lord Elgin.

janbb's avatar

I hink you’re all flogging the dead horse’s weight right now!

Jeruba's avatar

And maybe she is writing about marble as a rock substance such as sculptors sculpt and not one little round glass toy.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Jeruba

You are correct. And that’s why context is king :)

All Hail, King Context.

julia999's avatar

Yep, I was referring to the one marble.

A marble’s weight is…

Thanks everyone!

julia999's avatar

Oh, and I was referring to a toy marble. I’m writing an analysis of a physics project on project motion :P

julia999's avatar

Ahh I adore Fluther – such witty responses by everyone!

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