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Q. Apostrophe



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 



  • 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.


Consider browsing this helpful handout: 

  1. Apostrophes

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  • Last Updated Oct 18, 2019
  • Views 5
  • Answered By Melanie Rabine

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