The Plural and Possessive Forms of Abbreviations

The Plural and Possessive Forms of Abbreviations
Abbreviations of all kinds are used frequently and sometimes extensively in academic and especially scientific writing. Most scholarly authors realise that each abbreviation must be carefully defined for readers when it is first introduced, be distinct from all other abbreviations in a document and be used consistently if it is to succeed in effectively representing the word or phrase it replaces. However, even some writers who follow such sound practices will at times neglect the additions necessary to indicate when the concepts represented by abbreviations are plural or possessive in nature.
Journal Editing ServicesJournal Article Editing Services
Standard abbreviations for weights and measures rarely present a challenge because they tend to take the same form in both the singular and the plural, so the abbreviation to indicate ‘1 kilogram’ or ‘10 kilograms’ is the same: ‘1 kg’ and ‘10 kg,’ never ‘10 kgs.’ Similarly, the abbreviation for ‘3 metres’ is ‘3 m,’ not ‘3 ms,’ and it is important not to add the ‘s’ because ‘3 ms’ actually means ‘3 milliseconds.’ An ‘s’ is sometimes added to the abbreviation ‘yr’ when the plural is required, with ‘yrs’ representing ‘years,’ and the plural of ‘hour’ can be represented by ‘h’ (especially in scientific contexts), ‘hr’ or ‘hrs.’ The key when more than one form of an abbreviation is possible is to choose the one that suits your needs and use it consistently throughout a document: ‘hr’ always representing hour and ‘hrs’ always representing hours, for instance.

In most cases, nonstandard abbreviations require separate plural forms, so if you need to use both the singular and plural forms of an abbreviated term in a document, you will need to adopt a separate plural form. If the abbreviation is relatively common or has been used elsewhere, it is wise to adopt the form that is generally used in your discipline, but if you are creating new abbreviations for concepts in your research and writing, you will have to devise your own plural forms as well. To form the plural of most abbreviations an ‘s’ is simply added to the end of the abbreviation, just as it is with most English words. ‘NGO’ therefore becomes ‘NGOs’ and ‘DVD’ becomes ‘DVDs.’ The plurals of some abbreviations are formed unusually by doubling a letter, with ‘f.’ for ‘following’ becoming ‘ff.’ when the sense is plural and ‘p.’ for ‘page’ becoming ‘pp.’

Agreement should always be maintained between the nouns represented by abbreviations and the verbs used with them, just as it would be were the terms not abbreviated, so if an abbreviation is plural, the plural forms of any verbs associated with it must be used. ‘The NGOs is working’ would never be correct and should be altered to ‘the NGOs are working.’

An apostrophe should not be added to an abbreviation to form its plural, but an apostrophe along with an ‘s’ is used for possessive forms of abbreviations whether they are singular or plural. ‘That NGO’s mission is complicated’ shows the correct form for the singular possessive, while ‘those NGOs’ efforts were appreciated’ shows the proper form for the plural possessive.
Proofreading ServicesProofreading Services
Why Our Editing and Proofreading Services?
At proofreading services we pride ourselves on the exceptionally dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals who provide our English editing and proofreading services. Our editors and proofreaders are highly educated native speakers of English who have undergone rigorous training in expert editing practices, and their fields of study and specialisation range so widely that we are able to help our clients improve and polish research manuscripts of all kinds for successful publication. Many members of our research paper editing and proofreading team focus on journal editing, manuscript editing, scientific manuscript editing, academic proofreading, academic editing, dissertation proofreading services, professional proofreading, thesis editing services and scientific proofreading, assisting authors with articles that will be submitted to scientific and academic journals by ensuring that the formatting and references in their manuscripts conform to the relevant guidelines with precision and by correcting grammar, punctuation, spelling and typing errors to enable the clear and accurate communication of original research that acquisitions editors expect in publishable papers.

Our scientific editing, medical editing, bioscience editing, life science editing, environmental science editing, pharmaceutical science editing, physical science editing, agricultural science editing, LaTeX paper editing, social science editing, political science editing, engineering paper editing, psychology editing, research paper editing, manuscript editing, humanities editing, journal article editing, biomedical science editing, planetary science editing, plant science editing, material science editing, veterinary science editing, behavioural science editing and neurosurgery editing services for authors of scientific papers and reports are especially popular, but we also excel at book editing and have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit books and papers of all kinds across every scholarly discipline. Some of our carefully trained editors and proofreaders work exclusively on PhD thesis editing, master’s dissertation proofreading, bachelor’s dissertation proofreading, thesis editing, dissertation editing, thesis proofreading and dissertation proofreading, applying their education and instructional skills in providing thesis editing and dissertation proofreading services that help advanced students to improve the formatting and language of their theses and dissertations and thereby increase their chances of degree success. Whether you are preparing a conference or class presentation, putting the final touches to a professional report for colleagues or tackling the challenging task of editing any kind of academic or scientific document for publication, a qualified member of our outstanding proofreading and editing team will be delighted to provide proofreading and editing services and boost your confidence in your written work.

If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.

We also offer the following services:

Journal Article Editing
Scientific Editing
Dissertation Editing
Manuscript Editing
Research Paper Editing
Book Editing
Report Editing
Grant Application Editing
Conference Paper Editing
Agricultural Science Editing
Bioscience Editing
Chemistry Paper Editing
Environmental Science Editing
LaTeX Paper Editing Services
Life Science Editing
Material Science Editing
Medical Editing Services
Pharmaceutical Science Editing
Physical Sciences Editing
Planetary Science Editing
Plant Science Editing
Sports Science Editing
Veterinary Science Editing
Social Sciences Editing Services
Anthropology Editing
Archaeology Editing
Behavioural Science Editing
Economics Editing
History Paper Editing
Management Studies Editing
Philosophy Editing
Political Science Editing
Psychology Editing
Sociology Editing
Humanities Editing
Engineering Paper Editing
Law Paper Editing
PhD Thesis Editing
Master’s Dissertation Editing
Bachelor’s Dissertation Editing
Thesis Editing Services
Dissertation Editing Services
Thesis Proofreading Services
Dissertation Proofreading Services
Proofreading Prices



topbanner errow