Mistakes are often made by people who don’t really know how to use an apostrophe ( ‘ ), so here is an explanation of its use.
The apostrophe is used in 3 situations.
1. It’s used to indicate possession. Put ‘s after the name or word that possesses.
Paul’s parents are visiting for the holidays.
The Johnston’s house is three kilometers out of town.
Note: If a name ends in an s, then add ’s.
The Jones’s boat sank off the coast of Panama. [When saying the name, you actually say 2 s’s]
We going for dinner at the Harris’s.
The one exception for possession is the word its. This possessive word has no apostrophe because it’s is the contraction for it is.
I only have one shoe. Where is its mate?
I don’t like this room. Its color is terrible.
But if a word is plural and ends in an s, then just add an apostrophe without another s.
She lived at her parents’ house while she was going to university.
Both of her sisters’ boyfriends are doctors.
2. It’s used to show that a letter has been dropped in a contraction.
They aren’t coming to our party. [aren’t = are not]
Don’t forget to lock the door behind you. [don’t = do not]
Sometimes you will see words that have an apostrophe in place of the g in -ing because that’s how people really pronounce it. However, this is only done in informal writing or when quoting someone.
“Would you like to go dancin’ tonight, sweetheart?”
Note: The word o’clock always has an apostrophe.
The movie starts at six o’clock. [In very old English this word was the contraction of of the clock.]
3. It’s used to make numbers and letters plural.
Her son got three A’s and two B’s on his report card.
There were a lot of 10’s and 20’s in the cash register.
But don’t use it after years.
In the 1990s personal computers became popular.
This building dates from the early 1900s.
© 2013 Ambien Malecot