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apostrophe: "The sign (') used to indicate the omission of a letter or letters, as in o'er, thro', can't; and as a sign of modern English genitive or possessive case, as in boy's, boys', men's, conscience', Moses." OED
WHEN TO USE APOSTROPHES
- Apostrophes are used to show possession. Typically, you add an apostrophe and an “s” after a possessive noun. If a noun is plural and ends in “s,” add just the apostrophe.
- President Bush’s dog threw up last night.
- My parents’ car is big and ugly.
- Apostrophes are used in contractions to show where letters have been removed. They are also used to take the place of numbers when abbreviating years.
- It’s too bad that Bo is not the next American Idol.
- I can’t work tonight because I want to watch “Lost.”
- Tony Clark was obviously the best graduate of the class of ’92.
- Apostrophes may be used in plural numbers/words and abbreviations. The following sentences include optional apostrophes:
- Sasha Cohen needs to practice her figure 8’s better.
- The killer slashed Z’s all over the victim’s body.
- In some instances, apostrophes are needed to show plural words. Here is an example of an apostrophe that is necessary for clarity:
- John Kerry has said enough “I’m sorry’s” to last a lifetime.
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