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The Apostrophe

An overview of apostrophe rules
by

martha armstrong

on 27 August 2011

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Transcript of The Apostrophe

The Apostrophe
What is it?
It's this little thing
Or this
It has two main uses
1. Ownership
The lollipops of Anthony
Anthony's lollipops
The sled of Ryan
Ryan's sled
The homework of Nick
Nick's homework
The principal of the school
The school's principal
The windows of the classroom
The classroom's windows
When a word owns something, add 's. If the word is a plural that already ends in s, just add the apostrophe.
...but be careful
Some people add an apostrophe to any old word that ends in S. Take a look.
Only add 's or ' if you need to show that a word POSSESSES something else.
Which sentences need an apostrophe?
Ms Armstrongs pitbulls enjoy fresh meat.
Armstrong's
Shawn asks many questions.
No apostrophe
Everybodys heads hurt after
learning about apostrophes.
The aardvarks sneeze could be heard for miles.
Everybody's
aardvark's
Remember, if the word is a plural that already ends in s, just add the apostrophe at the end
For example, if you have three alligators chewing on bones, write "the alligators' bones"
For example:
The boys' bikes were stolen.
The cops' leads went nowhere.
The crooks' profits increased.
Now we know there is more than one boy, one cop, and one crook. And they all possess something. (Or in the case of the boys, they used to possess something.)
Let's recap
When using the apostrophe to show possession:
Find the owner and add 's
If the owner is a plural that already ends in s, just add '
2. Contraction
Why don't these words take apostrophes?
theirs
yours
his
hers

They're called possessive pronouns. Ownership is already built in to the word.
Contract means to shrink or draw together.
An apostrophe shows the reader that you have removed letters or numbers.
can not
they have
I am
1950s
can't
they've
I'm
'50s
There are a few contractions that people often mess up
It is
You are
They are
It's
You're
They're
Its, your and their are possessive pronouns and don't need apostrophes
Correct or not?
Your going to regret that
You're
The wolf hurt it's paw
its
They're going to Oliver's after class.
Did he do your homework for you?
correct
correct
Let's recap again
The two apostrophe uses are:
1. Possession
2. Contraction
When in doubt, leave it out.
It is NOT used to make words plural
e.g. The monster had many eyes. (NOT eye's)
The Rule
Full transcript