Apostrophe Rules

Apostrophes can be crafty. sometimes they form possessives. sometimes they form contractions. Can they ever make something plural ?

Apostrophe Use: Contractions and Omissions

A contraction is a abbreviated form of a news ( or group of words ) that omits certain letters or sounds. In a contraction, an apostrophe represents missing letters. The most common contractions are made up of verbs, auxiliaries, or modals attached to other words : He would=He ’ vitamin d. I have=I ’ ve. They are=They ’ re. You can not =You can ’ metric ton .
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Reading: Apostrophe Rules

Some writers use less coarse contractions when they want to represent a particular style of language. They might write somethin’ to represent the way people frequently don ’ triiodothyronine pronounce the final thousand of “ something ” in manner of speaking. occasionally, you might see e’er ( rather of ever ) in poetry. And, of course, in the American South, you will probably encounter y’all ( you all ). Decade names are much contracted american samoa well : the ’60s ( the 1960s ) .

Contraction Uncontracted Examples
-n’t not Isn’t (is not), hasn’t (has not)
-’re are They’re (they are), we’re (we are), you’re (you are)
-’d had, would She’d (she had, she would), I’d (I had, I would)
-’ll will We’ll (we will), you’ll (you will)
-’s is He’s (he is), it’s (it is)
I’m I am
let’s let us

Contractions are normally considered to be relatively free-and-easy. If you ’ re writing something identical courtly, you may want to avoid using them except in cases like o’clock, where the full moon idiom ( of the clock ) truly is rare .

Apostrophes and Possessive Nouns

The rules about forming genitive nouns credibly cause the most apostrophe confusion. They vary a little bite, depending on what type of noun you are making into a genitive. here are the rules of thumb :
For most curious nouns, add apostrophe+s: The dog’s leash The writer’s desk The planet’s atmosphere
For most plural nouns, add alone an apostrophe : The dogs’ leashes ( multiple dogs ) The writers’ desks ( multiple writers ) The planets’ atmospheres ( multiple planets )
For plural nouns that do not end in sulfur, add apostrophe+s : The children’s toys The geese’s migration route
Style guides vary in their recommendations of what to do when you have a singular proper noun that ends in s. Some recommend adding only an apostrophe : Charles Dickens’ novels Kansas’ main airport
Others say to add apostrophe+s : Charles Dickens’s novels Kansas’s independent airport

No matter which expressive style guide you use, add entirely the apostrophe to plural proper nouns that end in mho : The Harrises’ house The Smiths’ vacation
Use whichever style matches the vogue guide you use for your compose. If you don ’ t have a style guide, it ’ s OK to just pick one of the methods, equally long as you don ’ thyroxine switch back and forth within the lapp document .

Apostrophes and Possessive Pronouns

personal pronouns, unlike unconstipated nouns, do not use apostrophes to form possessives. Most writers don ’ t have disturb with the possessive pronouns my, mine, his, her, and our. It ’ s your, yours, hers, its, ours, their, and theirs, that tend to cause the confusion. The proportional possessive pronoun whose is besides frequently the victim of apostrophe abuse. note that none of these forms uses an apostrophe. In fact, for some of these pronouns, adding an apostrophe forms a contraction rather of a possessive ( see the table above ) .

Pronoun Possessive Pronoun Absolute (Independent) Form
Me My Mine
You Your Yours
He His His
Her Her Hers
It Its
We Our Ours
Them Their Theirs
Who Whose

How to Write Joint Possession

What do you do with the apostrophe when you ’ re talking about things that belong to more than one person ? When one thing belongs to two or more people, make lone the final mention possessive : Bob and Jim’s bait workshop ( Bob and Jim co-own the same bait shop class ) Ryan, Jessica, and Elinor’s parents ( All three share the lapp parents )
When you ’ re talking about disjoined things that belong to different people, make all the names possessive : Bob’s and Jim’s bait shops ( Bob owns one tease workshop and Jim owns a unlike one ) Ryan’s, Jessica’s, and Elinor’s parents ( Each has a unlike typeset of parents )
Using possessive personal pronouns in joint constructions much sounds awkward ( You have their and my gratitude ). normally, the best solution is to rephrase the prison term to avoid the joint structure ( You have our gratitude or You have their gratitude and mine ) .

Apostrophes and Plurals

Using an unnecessary apostrophe to form the plural of a noun is a very common mistake. sometimes, it ’ south called the grocer ’ mho apostrophe because of how frequently it is spotted in grocery storehouse advertisements ( 3 orange’s for a dollar! ). Don ’ thyroxine do it ! With very few exceptions, apostrophes do not make noun plural .
The one noteworthy exception to this dominion is the plural form of lowercase letters, which are formed with an apostrophe to prevent misread : Don ’ thymine forget to dot all your is .
Don ’ metric ton forget to dot all your i’s .

Apostrophes with Surrounding Punctuation

An apostrophe is share of the bible it belongs to, so it should not be separated from the password by periods, comma, interview marks, or any other punctuation commemorate.

Can I ask you somethin’ ? “ ’Twas the night before Christmas, ” he said .
In the second example, take note of the apostrophe at the begin of ’Twas. Apostrophes that fall at the identical begin of a compression are frequently mistyped as left-hand unmarried quotation marks. Word processors tend to do this by default. Keep this in mind, specially when you are writing about specific decades, such as the ’60s or the ’90s .

When to Check a Style Guide

Sooner or by and by, you ’ ll come across a phrase that sounds fine out loud but looks eldritch on newspaper because of the apostrophes. Do’s and don’ts ? Dos and don’ts ? Do’s and don’t’s ? For cases like these, it ’ s best to check a comprehensive style usher, such as the Chicago Manual or the AP Stylebook ( it ’ randomness do’s and don’ts, according to the AP ). A good dictionary may besides be able to offer you some steering. If you can ’ metric ton find a precedent, it ’ s probably best to use a different word or idiom ; excessively creative apostrophe use will inevitably distract your readers.

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