How to Use Apostrophes
Apostrophes (‘) are a type of punctuation mark that is commonly mistaken by many people. Many of us make mistakes in using the apostrophes correctly. That is why we are going to discuss how to use apostrophes in this article.
An apostrophe basically has three uses. Indicating possession, Forming contractions and odd plurals are the three these functions. Let us look at each of these functions separately.
Apostrophes to Indicate Possession
An apostrophe can be used after a proper noun or a common noun to show possession. This is done by adding an apostrophe followed by the letter s.
Tom’s house, Children’s toy, Car’s owner, Mary’s lamb, Mother’s friend
If you want to make sure the phrase you created is correct, turn the phrase around and make it a phrase with “of”
Car’s owner → owner of the car
Mother’s friend → Friend of mother
It is important to note that there are some rules to follow when indicating possession with apostrophes.
Add ’s (apostrophe followed by the letter s) to singular proper nouns and common nouns.
If the common noun or proper noun ends in s, you have two options. You can either add just an apostrophe to the end of the noun or add ’s. Both are considered to be correct.
James’s mother or James’s mother
Enders’ house or Enders’s house
Add ’s to plural forms that do not end in s.
Add ’ to plural nouns that end in s.
One of the most common mistakes related to apostrophes is the confusion between its and it’s. Although ’s is used to show possession, it’s indicates a contraction form; it is the shortened version of it is. Remember that personal pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, we, and they) do not use apostrophes to indicate ownership.
Apostrophes should not be also used with possessive pronouns and possessive adjectives since they are already possessive. Apostrophes are mostly used with common nouns and proper nouns to show ownership.
Apostrophes to Indicate Contraction
Apostrophe can also indicate contractions. Contractions are a word in which some letters have been omitted. The apostrophes indicate these omitted letters. Here are some examples:
It is → It’s
Do not → Don’t
Could have → could’ve
Can not → can’t
She will → she’ll
I am → I’m
Apostrophes to Indicate Plurals
Apostrophes can be used to form the plural of simple letters. You have to place ’s after the letter to make it plural. There is no need to use an apostrophe to form the plural of capital letters.
Mind your p’s and q’s.
How many m’s are there in the word commitment?
He got 3As and 2Bs.
We can also use apostrophes to make numbers plural.
He was born in the 60’s.
He passed out in late 90’s.