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Beginner's or Beginners'

  1. electronician profile image85
    electronicianposted 4 years ago

    If I am writing a guide for beginners should it be 'A Beginner's Guide' or 'A Beginners' Guide' or are both correct?

    I have seen both used in various places although the use of beginner's seems to be more popular.

    Both seem to make sense to me - it can be a guide for many beginners, in which case it is the beginners' guide, or it can be a guide for a beginner (an imaginary example beginner), in which it is a beginner's guide.

    I've always though A Beginners' guide seems like better syntax just because it doesn't rely on implying an imaginary example, but that way is less commonly used. Does anybody know if either one is objectively correct, or have any thoughts on which one is best to use?

    1. profile image0
      Beth37posted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I like Beginner's Guide

    2. Writer Fox profile image56
      Writer Foxposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      There can be a significant difference between the number of searches and the number of competitors for something titled Beginner's Guide, Beginners' Guide or Beginners Guide.

      Use the Google keyword Planner and search results pages to help you make the decision. Search on Google for Electronics Beginner's Guide, Electronics Beginners' Guide and Electronics Beginners Guide to see the difference in competition and in results displayed.

      1. electronician profile image85
        electronicianposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        That's a great idea - screw grammar and chase the cash instead!!!! I like your style Writer Fox.

        1. Writer Fox profile image56
          Writer Foxposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Cash is the new grammar.  That's how the term 'Web site' got changed to 'website.'  It happened because Google willed it to happen and now that's the correct spelling in the dictionary.

          1. FlourishAnyway profile image99
            FlourishAnywayposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            Writer Fox, you are clever and cunning as a fox.  You sure picked the right name.

    3. AlexK2009 profile image94
      AlexK2009posted 4 years agoin reply to this

      "A Beginner's guide"  ONE beginner
      "Beginners' Guide"     Multiple beginners
      "Beginners Guide"   Acceptable common usage

  2. rebekahELLE profile image90
    rebekahELLEposted 4 years ago

    Beginner's is correct.

  3. Will Apse profile image92
    Will Apseposted 4 years ago

    A Beginner's Guide

    Beginners' Guides

    edit: if anyone who genuinely knows weird grammar rules comes along I will back out.

    I was a sixty's child, wild and free, expression was everything and apostrophes were designed by Victorians to break tender spirits.

    1. profile image0
      Beth37posted 4 years agoin reply to this

      That makes my ears hurt.

      1. Will Apse profile image92
        Will Apseposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        s' is for plurals and Golems. And also Tom Waits.

        Unless someone who looks like a school marm comes along and shouts at me.

        1. profile image0
          Beth37posted 4 years agoin reply to this

          I hope she has a nice business suit on.

          1. Will Apse profile image92
            Will Apseposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            I am sort of guessing Mellisa. Dare I ask?

            1. profile image0
              Beth37posted 4 years agoin reply to this

              You are guessing Melissa what?

              1. Will Apse profile image92
                Will Apseposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                I am guessing Melissa will be along to put me in my place, soon.

                Perhaps Rebekah will break my foolishness to me more gently.

                Also why do so many women have names that no one can spell?

                1. profile image0
                  Beth37posted 4 years agoin reply to this

                  I had my mother name me something simple for your benefit.

                  1. Will Apse profile image92
                    Will Apseposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                    Your mother showed fine judgement.

                2. cheaptrick profile image68
                  cheaptrickposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                  Out of mystery they came
                  With a hard to spell name
                  To commence this here game
                  Called life
                  They get all in your head
                  Then they take you to bed
                  Till those two words are said
                  Your wife
                  Run your life from the start
                  Till you're just an old fart
                  And till death do us part.....becomes a goal

                  1. electronician profile image85
                    electronicianposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                    Lol! great poem cheaptrick

    2. electronician profile image85
      electronicianposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Will, but couldn't it be a singular guide for multiple beginners - with the 'A' implying the singular guide rather than a singular beginner?

      1. Will Apse profile image92
        Will Apseposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        lol. I honestly don't know.

        I do know that it is difficult to find anyone using the apostrophe after the s. That doesn't mean it is correct or incorrect but it does suggest no one will take umbrage if you go for 's.

  4. Rochelle Frank profile image96
    Rochelle Frankposted 4 years ago

    OK , I'll be the schoolmarm and say, " A Beginner's Guide".. especially since you put "A" in front which signifies singular.
    You may be addressing this to many beginners, but sort of individually , one at a time. It sounds better, too.

    1. Will Apse profile image92
      Will Apseposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Yes but the real issue is

      Beginners' Guides

      or

      Beginner's Guides

      ?

      1. classicalgeek profile image84
        classicalgeekposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        It depends on whether you are writing multiple guides for a single beginner, or multiple beginners.

        You could, of course, avoid the headache entirely by choosing to name it "A Guide for Beginners."

        1. Will Apse profile image92
          Will Apseposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          I was thinking of multiple guides for multiple beginners.

        2. profile image0
          Beth37posted 4 years agoin reply to this

          lol

        3. electronician profile image85
          electronicianposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          @classicgeek - that's a great idea, it would sidestep the whole ambiguity altogether!

      2. Marcy Goodfleisch profile image98
        Marcy Goodfleischposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        My non-marmish opinion is that you've got it right.  We need cclitgirl to drop by and address this issue.  She's an expert, and very non-marmish.

        1. Will Apse profile image92
          Will Apseposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Do you have a tight business suit, Marcy?

          1. profile image0
            Beth37posted 4 years agoin reply to this

            lol

  5. livingit4real profile image78
    livingit4realposted 4 years ago

    I believe your choice and use of the article "A" determines which is correct. "A", of course is singular and implies that you are talking about a singular item: a ball, the balls, ball or balls. "A" makes it a singular beginner.  You could choose: Beginners' Guide or Beginner's Guide, but the "A" implies single beginner. Hope that helped.

    1. electronician profile image85
      electronicianposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      But the 'A' could refer to the beginner or the guide in the sentence 'A beginner's / beginners' guide'. Which one does or should it refer to?

      1. filecluster profile image80
        fileclusterposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        You can keep your title SEO friendly and make it more attractive at the same time using something like : Beginner's guide to InsertTopicHere: Electronics 101 or something else that draws attention.

        1. electronician profile image85
          electronicianposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks for the tip, that's a good idea.

      2. mgt28 profile image76
        mgt28posted 4 years agoin reply to this

        I would only use A Beginners' Guide if it is product directed to married couples. Just saying.

        1. electronician profile image85
          electronicianposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          I sort of get the couples thing, but why is whether it is 'product directed' relevant?

          1. mgt28 profile image76
            mgt28posted 4 years agoin reply to this

            I agree ' product directed' has no place!

      3. livingit4real profile image78
        livingit4realposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        The "A" denotes the word "beginner" is singular. If there is more than one guide it could be "A beginner's guides", which I do not think is the intent.

        1. mgt28 profile image76
          mgt28posted 4 years agoin reply to this

          The "A" refers to the singular the  Guide singular.

 
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