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April 1, 2015 - How to Use Apostrophes

how to use apostrophes
Apostrophes can be a tough nut to crack for some writers, but in actuality, the grammar rules for apostrophe usage are quite easy. Whether English is your native language or English is your second language, understanding and reviewing these specific rules is always a good practice.

Let's take a look at how to use apostrophes.

1. Use apostrophes when showing possession.

Possession is shown by using an 's following a noun.

Here's an example. The dog is owned by Henry. Therefore, since Henry is the noun which requires possession, we add an 's to Henry, and the result is Henry's dog.

2. For plural nouns that DO NOT end in "s"

These next two rules are tricky for apostrophes and are just nuances of the English language. For plural nouns that DO NOT end in "s," simply add an 's.

Here's another example. The dog is owned by the children. Therefore, since children is the noun which requires possession, we add an 's to children just as we did in the first rule: the children's dog.

3. For plural nouns that DO end in "s"

In this case, if the noun is plural and ends in "s," simply add an apostrophe. No other "s" is required.

The actors own the studio. Once again, since actors is the noun which requires possession, we simply add an apostrophe to actors since it already ends in "s": the actors' studio.

4. Use apostrophes in the cases of contractions

Contractions are words where a letter is removed. Examples are words such as don't (do not), I'm (I am), and they're (they are).

There is an exception to this rule which is won't. This is the contraction of will not, so there is a change of the stem when an apostrophe is used in this contraction.

Need more help with apostrophes or other grammar rules? Be sure to ask our paper editors at PaperEditNow.com!

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