The Apostrophe:. Uses, Misuse’s and Abuses’. The Apostrophe - Uses. Looks like this: ’ Not like this: ‘ Has 2 functions. Indicates a letter is missing:. I’m he’s can’t jumpin’ th’end. The Apostrophe - Uses. Sometimes letters are missing:. I’d we’d they’ve I’ve.
Uses, Misuse’s and Abuses’
Indicates a letter is missing:
Sometimes letters are missing:
Can also show possession
The student’s knapsack
Originally, in old English, possession was shown by adding ‘es’ to a noun:
The studentes knapsack
Possession was also shown by adding the word ‘his’:
Jim his computer
Andy his presentation
The student his knapsack
Notice that with both cases—the ‘es’ ending or the ‘his’ ending—the modern day usage of the apostrophe indicates letters are missing:
Jimes computer is now Jim’s computer
The missing letter is ‘e’
Andy his presentation is Andy’s presentation
The missing letters are ‘hi’
To show possession by a plural noun, add the apostrophe after the ‘s’
The students’ knapsacks lay all over the place.
My sisters’ friends are coming to visit.
The babies’ diapers need changing. (Rey, are you busy?)
If the plural noun is irregular and thus does not end in ‘s’, add apostrophe ‘s’
The children’s clothing
The men’s room
The people’s leader
If you want to show possession by something or someone whose name ends in ‘s’, add apostrophe ‘s’
This is the boss’s pen
The mistress’s lover
Don’t put an apostrophe after numbers. To express a decade in numerical form just add an ‘s’:
The 1970’s x
Back in the 80’s x
Back in the ’80s
The easy way to remember this is to write out the year as a word:
Notice there is no apostrophe
Don’t put an apostrophe after an acronym. Just put a small ‘s’:
Some homeowners and many cottage owners put the name of their family somewhere on their property, like this:
But do you see why this is wrong?
First of all they are a family so more than one person lives there.
If they are going to use an apostrophe it should go after their pluralized surname:
The Martins’ house
The Nielsens’ cottage
The McKinlays’ igloo
The Clearys’ hut
But more importantly, the apostrophe is just not necessary.
They should put their pluralized surname with a ‘The’ in front.
Or just put their surname:
How do we convey two essays written by two guys named James?
A) James’ essays
B) James’s essays
C) Jameses’s essays
D) None of the above
And the correct answer is…
D) None of the above
Anytime the apostrophe begins to make your pronunciation sound awkward, don’t use the apostrophe. Find another way.
The essays written by the Jameses.
The essays written by James and James.
1) Use the apostrophe to indicate a missing letter:
You’re ready to find funny errors, right?
2) Use the apostrophe to indicate possession:
Andy’s PowerPoint is about to get even more interesting!