Todays or Today’s: Which Is Correct?

Today is going to be a beautiful day. Or, if you would like to say it more informally, “Today’s going to be a beautiful day.” Apostrophes can sometimes be a bit tricky, especially when used for words that have plurality, like “todays” versus “today’s.”

In most situations, the word “today’s” is correct. The apostrophe can indicate possession or omission, but its application will depend on the context in which the word is used. The word “todays” is used very rarely and is a slightly archaic plural form of the word “today,” which should only be used in very specific contexts.

“Today” is a commonly used word that generally presents in its most basic form. But with an added apostrophe and “s,” the meaning changes very slightly. Keep reading to make sure you’re using and spelling the word correctly.

Origin of Today

The word “today” comes from Old English “tō dæġe,” which refers to “on [the] day” (source). While Dutch, German, and Swedish kept the “g” sound from the original Old English, Modern English has changed it to the root word “day.”

Since “today” is one of many older words in the English language, its usage is very common, and it can be applied in your writing as both a noun and an adverb, showing its versatility.

When “today” is used as a noun, it refers to the present day. However, when it is used as an adverb, it informs us about a specific period of time in this present day.

Todays vs. Today’s

“Todays” and “Today’s” have completely distinct usages, despite the barely noticeable difference of an added apostrophe. 

“Todays” is the plural form of “today.” This is not a common spelling of the word anymore, and we can only use it in specific circumstances.

However, “Today’s” can refer to either the phrase “today is,” which has been contracted by the apostrophe, or something belonging to “today,” such as “In today’s news….” We’ll examine these two usages and how to use them correctly in speaking and writing.

When Is Todays Correct?

With the addition of a single “s,” the word “todays” is simply the plural form, even if “today” is not something that needs to be in the plural form very often. 

Here are a few examples:

  • War heroes gave their yesterdays for our todays.
  • Value our todays, as tomorrow is unknown.

When using “todays,” the subject must be in the plural form, whether you use a noun or a pronoun. In the sentences above, “war heroes” and “our” are plural nouns and pronouns.

This usage has become archaic, though, and using “today” in its singular form is just as accurate. For example, the second sentence above can also be written, “Value today, as tomorrow is unknown.” 

For other style concerns, read Dryer’s English, an insightful guide available on Amazon that will ensure your writing is perfect every time.

Using an Apostrophe in Today’s

“Today’s” is much more commonly used. There are two main functions of an apostrophe —  omission/contraction, omitting letters from words to shorten them, and possession, indicating who or what the object belongs to. Let’s break both down a bit more.

Apostrophe for Omission

When using an apostrophe for omission/contraction, the omitted word is always from the auxiliary verb (source).

Here are a few examples:

  • “She would not” becomes “She wouldn’t.”
  • “They are” becomes “They’re.”
  • “Today is” becomes “Today’s.”

You can use several methods to ensure that you’re using the apostrophe in the correct space.

Strategy 1

The easiest way to check for a contracted word is to open up the contraction and read it as the original two words. By doing so, you can check the tense and usage in the sentence. 

When using “today’s,” you have to be careful of the context in which you’re using it. Below, you’ll find a few examples showing how to use “today’s” both correctly and incorrectly.

SentenceCorrect or IncorrectReason
Today’s a lovely day.CorrectWhen the contraction is opened up, the sentence “Today is a lovely day” is grammatically accurate.
Are you coming to my house today’s?IncorrectWhen the contraction is opened up, the sentence is “Are you coming to my house today is?” There is no need for the contraction, and the word “today” is correct on its own.
Today’s was horrible.IncorrectWhen the contraction is opened up, the sentence is “Today is was horrible.” There is a tense error, and either “is” or “was” needs to be removed for the sentence to become accurate.
At any rate, today’s no different from any other.CorrectWhen the contraction is opened up, the sentence is “At any rate, today is not different from any other,” which is perfectly accurate.

Strategy 2

When contracting, remember that the apostrophe should only appear in place of the missing letter(s). It is not “ca’nt,” rather it is spelled “can’t” because “no” is missing from “cannot.”

In the case of “today’s,” the apostrophe is used to replace the letter “i” from “is.” In other words, “Today is” becomes “Today’s.”

Contractions are most often used for informal writing and conversational speaking. We have become so accustomed to using contractions that not using them makes your writing and speech sound much more formal.

Apostrophe for Possession

When used to show possession, apostrophes are applied quite differently, and their rules change from those indicating a contraction.

First, apostrophes used for possession always appear near the end of the word, either added on with an “s” following or after an “s” if the word already contains one. 

Second, in this case, the apostrophe is never used to replace any other letter. We can only add it to the word, but nothing should be removed to indicate possession, in direct contrast to the contraction rule.

There are several strategies for correctly using apostrophes to indicate possession.

Strategy 1

Generally, the subject of a sentence (in orange below) is the owner of the object, and the owner will take either an “‘s” or only an apostrophe after the last letter, depending on how the subject is spelled.

When a noun is used in its possessive form, its usage also changes. In some cases, it functions as an adjective, which qualifies the new subject and gives us extra information about it. In this case, who does it belong to?

Note that you cannot call a possessive noun an adjective, but it functions just the same. Let’s look at a few examples below. 

  • Mary walked in with her bag.
  • Mary’s bag is a lovely color.
  • James is playing with his ball.
  • James’ ball flew over the neighbor’s garden wall.

In the second example, the apostrophe appeared after the “s” because James is a name that ends with an “s.” However, this rule is not set in stone, and James’s can also be correct (source).

When adding apostrophes to indicate possession, the apostrophe is added to a singular or plural noun. As we’ve mentioned earlier, the word “today” is generally used as a singular noun and, therefore, it can take a possessive apostrophe when needed.

Examples:

  • Today’s news was terrible.
  • Today’s weather makes me really happy.

Strategy 2

Apostrophes are also used for possession with plural nouns. When the noun ends with an “s,” a lone apostrophe is used to indicate possession. 

Examples:

  • The boys’ house is far away.
  • The cats’ eyes are so pretty.

Because the word “boys” is already in its plural form, it needs only an apostrophe. This is repeated with “cats.”

Many writers make a common mistake by adding an apostrophe to indicate that the noun is plural, which should never be the case. An apostrophe is only added to indicate the possessive form of a plural noun.

While most nouns take an “s” when they are pluralized, there are always a few exceptions to the rule.

The Oxford New Essential Dictionary is a useful resource on Amazon that will help you to identify the correct form and spelling of just about any word you can think of.

Strategy 3

If the plural form of the noun does not end with an “s,” then an “‘s” is needed to indicate possession (source).

Examples:

  • The oxen’s sounds reached across the prairie.
  • The children’s backyard was full of their toys.

Since the word “children” does not end with an “s,” then the “‘s” is needed to change it into its possessive form.

If you are struggling with plural forms, check out our article on class’s or class’, which digs deep into the correct usage of apostrophes in possessive nouns.

Today’s Tense

Since “today” refers to a specific day, it is easy to assume that any sentence using the word would be written in the present tense. That is far from accurate, and the word “today” can appear in a range of tenses (source).

TenseExamples
PastIn today’s news, the lives of many men were saved by a hero.

Today I went to the mall.
PresentI am in love with today’s weather.

It cannot wait; it has to be done today.
FutureToday’s going to be a stressful day.

Today we’ll be meeting with the CEO.

The base form of the word, along with the possessive and contracted form, can be used in a range of tenses. So, the information that is imparted generally decides what tense is appropriate.

Today as an Adjective: Is It Correct to Say, “Today Morning”?

As mentioned earlier, when “today” is written in its possessive form, it tends to function as an adjective. However, you would not call it an adjective specifically.

When we look at words within the same semantic field as “today,” you will also encounter “yesterday” and “tomorrow.” Both words function more easily as adjectives without any change to their form.

We often say “tomorrow afternoon” or “yesterday evening,” so is saying something like “today morning” correct? The phrase technically makes sense. “Today morning” would indicate the morning of this specific day.

But on a prescriptive level, “today morning” is not correct. It is a phrase that second-language English speakers are more likely to use since many languages have versions of this phrase.

First-language English speakers will use “this morning” instead of “today morning,” as the former seems to be redundant, despite “today” and “morning” having completely different meanings.

While still somewhat awkward, if the possessive form is used, the phrase becomes grammatically accurate. By saying, “Today’s morning,” the speaker or writer indicates that the morning belongs to today. 

Needless to say, other phrases like “today afternoon” and “today evening” would also be regarded as incorrect. The word “today” cannot function as an adjective unless it takes an “‘s” after it.

“Today” is not the only tricky measurement of time. Many people struggle to use the word “years” correctly, and if you would like to check your knowledge, read “What Is the Difference Between Years and Year’s?” to know you’re using the right form every time.

Other words that can be used to replace “today” are the proper nouns for specific days or events. Therefore, phrases like “Christmas morning” or “Thanksgiving morning” are grammatically accurate. These are not the only alternatives, however.

Alternatives to Today

In your writing, the word “today” can sometimes become monotonous. There are alternatives that you can use instead, such as “nowadays” and “these days.” Both phrases share a similar meaning but are more open-ended with regards to their specificity (source).

Depending on their usage, however, they can be used interchangeably.

Examples:

  • Today’s youth are so different from the previous generation.
  • Nowadays, youth are so connected.
  • These days, youth differ from their parents.

In all of these examples, the words “today,” “nowadays,” and “these days” are used to indicate the general times that we live in, rather than the specific day.

Final Thoughts

You should now have a complete understanding of “todays” versus “today’s,” along with their various forms and usages. The main tip to assist in using the correct form is remembering that the only two reasons for using an apostrophe are possession or omission.

Very rarely will you have to use the word “todays,” but, when in doubt, use the singular form as the chances of that being correct are far higher. Hopefully, today’s article has helped you understand the difference.

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