Skip to Main Content
Skip to main content

University Libraries

Search

More research tools:

Self-Service Help: Resource Market

Q. Apostrophe

Answer

 

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.

TO LEARN MORE:

Consider browsing this helpful handout: 

  1. Apostrophes

Ready to try the next phase? We can help you at any of the STEPS along the way!

 

Want to chat with someone who can help? Book a consultation today! 

 

This information is brought to you by the Grand Valley Knowledge Market

 

Topics

  • Last Updated Oct 18, 2019
  • Views 1
  • Answered By Melanie Rabine

FAQ Actions

Was this helpful? 0   0