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Transcript of Apostrophes
How Do They Work?
If ONE person, place, thing, or idea is the owner, add an apostrophe + s to show possession.
the student's book
one week's wages
to make smaller
Use an apostrophe to join two words.
they are = they're
you are = you're
it is = it's
What if the noun already ends in -s, but the word is singular? Like Kansas or Dickens?
MLA style recommends always using apostrophe + s, even it it looks funny.
Make sure you use the right
If you mean to say "it is," use
with an apostrophe.
If you mean to say something belongs to it, use
, with no apostrophe.
English can be tricky. Sometimes
hard to remember
Apostrophes serve two basic functions:
To show ownership or other relationships
To form a contraction
To determine if you need to use an apostrophe, start by asking yourself these questions:
Are you saying one thing belongs to another thing?
Are you combining two words?
Forming a Contraction
It works with numbers, too
Use an apostrophe to show you dropped some numbers.
Class of 2015 = Class of '15
If MORE THAN ONE person, place, thing, or idea is the owner, make the word plural first, then add an
to show possession.
the students' book (all of the students share one book)
the boys' game (more than one boy owns the game)
the babies' toys (more than one baby owns the toys)
The Joneses' house (the Jones family lives in that house. There are more than one Jones, therefore Joneses. The house belongs to them, therefore it is the Joneses' house.
Plural nouns that do not end in s need an apostrophe + s
An Apostrophe Does Not Make More
Never use an apostrophe to mean "more than one" of something.
To make a word plural, add
WRONG: The mosquito's are really bad this year.
RIGHT: The mosquitoes are really bad this year.
Singular nouns that own something = 's
Plural nouns that own something = s'
Contractions = use an ' to show letters are missing (can't, won't, shouldn't)
Never use 's to make something plural.
Make sure you are using the right its/it's, your/you're, or whose/who's.