Grammar Lesson: The Apostrophe
Here are useful rules for the apostrophe. Learn them well, and use them in your writing.
- Use an apostrophe to form the possessive of singular and plural nouns.
Add an apostrophe and an s to form the possessive of a singular noun.
- Joe + 's = Joe's car
- day + 's = day's effort
- flag + 's = flag's colors
- glass + 's = glass's cost
Note: If a plural noun ends in s, just add an apostrophe.
- cars + ' = cars' interiors
- televisions + ' = televisions' locations
Note: If a plural noun does not end in s, add 's to the word.
- mice + 's = mice's home
- women + 's = women's department
Note: If a name of two or more syllables ends in an eez sound, the possessive is formed without an additional s.
- the tales of Ulysses = Ulysses' tales
- the speeches of Orestes = Orestes' speeches
- brother-in-law's shoes
- Jackson and Meyer's law firm
Make each phrase possessive. Write your answer on the line provided.
- __________ the pictures owned by Mary
- __________ the coat owned by the sister-in-law of John
- __________ the speech delivered by Les
- __________ the space owned by Fred and Garrett
- __________ the address of Demetrius
Here are more situations involving the use of the apostrophe. Review them, and incorporate them into your writing.
- Use an apostrophe in contractions (words that combine two words into one).
- Form the plural of a lowercase letter by placing an 's after the letter.
- There are three a's in that word.
- Mind your p's and q's.
You do not have to add an apostrophe to form the plural of capitalized letters, numbers, or symbols.
- We counted three Ts in that paragraph. (capitalized letters)
- How many 8s (or eights) are in that column? (numbers)
- Earl loves to use $s (or dollar signs) in his writing. (symbols)
- The Class of '18 = The Class of 2018
- Let's = Let us
- Gregory's = Gregory is or Gregory has
- B.A.'s (or BAs) = Bachelors of Arts
- M.A.'s (or MAs) = Masters of Arts
- PhD.'s (or PhDs) = Doctors of Philosophy
- P.A.'s (or PAs) = Physicians Assistants
- How many CD's (or CDs) do you own?
- How many different LSAT's (or LSATs) has Bertha taken?
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