Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ten Things You Need to Know about Apostrophes

Punctuations are a vital ingredient in a sentence. They tell us when to stop, take a short pause and even raise emotions when reading. Effectively using them in sentences results to a good delivery of the sentence or the whole paragraph itself. One of the most confusing and commonly misused punctuation marks is the apostrophe.

As defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an apostrophe is a mark used to indicate an omission of letters or figures, to show possession or the plural of letters and figures. To have a clearer picture of this definition, here are ten things you have to know about apostrophes.



1. We use an apostrophe to show possession on singular nouns. Possession is showing that someone or something owns something. For singular regular nouns, we put an apostrophe at the last part of the word and add s.

Examples:

  • My little niece kept on sneezing last night because the cat's fur was all over the sofa she was sitting on.
  • There was a woman's shoe found inside the room. Nobody knew who left it.

2. For singular nouns that end in s, better put an apostrophe and s after it. However, be consistent in using this in your paragraph or essay.

Examples:

  • The class's teacher was replaced by Mrs. Shin. Mr. Kim is in the hospital because of an accident.
  • Mr. Jones's car is parked near the Korean restaurant.

3. Regular plural nouns are nouns that end in –s or –es. To make their possessive form, simply add an apostrophe after it.

Examples:

  • The classes' schedules are in conflict. I do not know how to handle this.
  • The boys' toys were all scattered on the floor. I had trouble picking up the mess they made.



4. Irregular nouns' plural form is made by adding an apostrophe and s after them.

Examples:

  • Children's toys should be suitable for their age.
  • The men's fitting room was too far that I decided not to try the shirt on.

5. If two people possess the same item, put the apostrophe on the second person's name.

Examples:

  • Alex and Christine's room is located upstairs near the bathroom.
  • Mr. Kim and Mrs. Kim's daughters study in a private school in New South Wales.

6. If two people do not own the same thing, put the apostrophe after each name.

Examples:

  • Jane's and Beth's yard are filled with very beautiful flowers. I really had a good time visiting their homes.
  • Mr. Kim's and Mrs. Park's kids have been friends since they were in middle school. They get along very well.

7. For compound nouns, its possessive form is created by placing the apostrophe at the end of the word.

Examples:

  • My brother-in-law's mother sent a huge package for our family.
  • The merry-go-round's machine was broken. The children were all sad hearing the news.

8. Personal pronouns never use apostrophe to show possession.

Examples:

  • The cat was having a hard time. Its tail was accidentally hit when I closed my door.
  • Her bag was left in the room. Luckily, nothing was stolen from it.

9. In contractions, apostrophes are used. They are placed where the letter is omitted.

Examples:

  • She doesn't know that I used her account. She is completely clueless.
  • There weren't anything inside the fridge. I think we need to buy some groceries.

10. Putting an apostrophe after single capital letters.

Examples:

  • His grades were all B's. I am pretty impressed.
  • When I was in college, my grades were all A's.

These are very simple things to know about the apostrophe. Have this in mind when writing so as not to confuse the person reading your essays. Have fun with apostrophes!

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