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“Spelling” on the GED refers to apostrophes and homonyms. The apostrophe has two main uses: 1) to form possessives of nouns 2) to show the omission of letters. Forming possessives of nouns
Follow these rules to create a possessive. If you’re not sure where to place the apostrophe, ask yourself “whose thing is it?” – the apostrophe goes after the person or thing who has the object. You can also turn it into an “of” phrase.
• add 's to the word (even if it ends in -s):
the owner's car – whose car? The car belongs to the owner
James's hat – the hat belongs to James – the hat of James
• add 's if it’s a plural that doesn’t end in s:
the children's game – Whose game? The game “belongs” to the children
the geese's honking – The honking of the geese
• add 's to the end of compound words:
my brother-in-law's money – the money belongs to the brother-in-law.
• add 's to the last noun if it belongs to more than one person:
Todd and Anne's apartment – the apartment belongs to Todd and Anne.
• add ' to the end of plural nouns that end in -s:
houses' roofs – the roofs “belong” to the houses
three friends' letters – the letters “belong” to the friends.
Mine, your, yours, his, hers, their, theirs, ours, and its are all possessive pronouns. Never use an apostrophe to make a noun plural. Here are some examples:
wrong: his' book
correct: his book
wrong: The group made it's decision.
correct: The group made its decision.
wrong: a friend of yours'
correct: a friend of yours
wrong: She waited for three hour’s to get her ticket.
correct: She waited for three hours to get her ticket.
don't = do not
I'm = I am
he'll = he will
who's = who is
shouldn't = should not
didn't = did not
could've = could have (NOT "could of"!)
'60 = 1960
A good time to proofread is when you have finished writing the paper. Try the following strategies:
• If you tend to leave out apostrophes, check every word that ends in -s or -es to see if it needs an apostrophe.
• If you tend to put in too many apostrophes, check every apostrophe to see if you can justify it with a rule.
Remember: Apostrophes are NOT used for plurals
Homo – same, like, similar
Nym – name
Homonyms are words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and have different meanings
Some of the most commonly misspelled homonyms are words we’ve already seen when we were talking about apostrophes
These words sound the same but, depending on whether or not there’s an apostrophe, they mean different things.
Note that there is a capitalization “quiz”. You don’t need a lecture for that - just go over the rules listed on pages 71 and 72.