Do you go to the Mens Restroom or the Men’s Restroom?

Cover image
A blue door with the word men on it.

One way the apostrophe is often misused is when you want to show ownership. You probably see the misuse of this type of apostrophe use all the time.

Well, here’s how to determine when and where a word needs an apostrophe.

Take the word immediately after the word you’re wondering about and move it forward to form a phrase. If the phrase makes sense, you need to use an apostrophe. If the phrase doesn’t make sense, you don’t need the apostrophe.

Here’s an example:

            My employers attitude has greatly improved.  

 Does employer need an apostrophe and, if so, where? Turn the phrase…

             the attitude belonging to (of) my employer…

Does that make sense? YES…Then you need an apostrophe. You place the apostrophe where you stop speaking in the phrase. So, the correct sentence is…

            My employer’s attitude has greatly improved. 

So, is it mens restroom or men’s restroom? Well, if we turn the phrase, we get…

the restroom belonging to the men (YES, it makes sense)

So… we use…the men’s restroom!

Marie Antaya avatar

By Marie Antaya, CTDP

Author of The Eclectic Writing Series.