Apostrophes are mostly used to show possession(Bob’s boat, Mandy’s hair), or to indicate omission of one or more letters/numbers(I’m -> I am).
Some of the things that confuse people the most are whether to use It’s or Its or How to properly place an apostrophe after an S. This page should help clear up some of the confusion about the mysterious apostrophe! Hopefully you’ll find this useful and it helps you understand when to use an apostrophe.
Using Apostrophes to show possession.
Apostrophes can be used to express ownership, or in other words, show that an object belongs to or is related to someone/something, here are some examples:
Bob’s book -> The book that blongs to bob.
Wendy’s chair -> The chair that belongs to wendy.
Daniel’s pen -> The pen that blongs to daniel.
Tomorrow’s weather forecast -> The weather forecast of tomorrow. (When the owner isn’t clear and we’re talking about time, just imagine the same sentence with an ‘of’ instead of the apostrophe, if it works then you’re doing it right).
How do we properly use the apostrophe to show possession?
If it’s possessive and single:
Just add an apostrophe and then the letter S!
The deer’s tiny head.
The monkey’s amazing snowboarding skills.
If it’s possessive and plural:
If the plural of the noun ends with an s (as it does most of the time), you simply add an apostrophe after the s:
Three cars’ big wheels -> The big wheels of three cars.
Many cakes’ cream cheese icing -> The cream cheese icing of many cakes.
Three years’ medical research -> Three years of medical research.
Five weeks’ money saving -> Five weeks of money saving.
If the plural DOESN’T end with the letter s (irregular plural):
We do as we did for singles, we add an apostrophe then the letter s:
The men’s fast cars -> The fast cars belong to the men.
Women’s long hair -> The long hair belongs to the women.
Children’s fairy tales.
If we want to use the apostrophe to show joint possession of an object:
we add an apostrophe s to the last noun:
Jack and Clara’s house.
Bill and Sandy’s german shepherd.
Using Apostrophes to show Omission:
Apostrophes can be used to indicate missing letters:
I’m -> I am.
You’re -> You are.
It’s -> It is.
Couldn’t -> Could not.
It can also be used to show missing numbers (usually dates):
The winter of ’79 -> short for 1979.
The its or it’s dilemma.
This can cause alot of confusion, but it really is very simple once you get the hang of it!
Its -> is used to show possession (Belongs to):
The cat smelled its feet.
Honor has its rewards.
The butterfly moved its wings.
It’s -> is short for ‘It is':
It’s a nice day outside
It’s nice to meet you.
** If you have any questions please leave a reply below, I’ll try to answer it as soon as I can.