English grammar

Module 13, Additional Punctuation, Lesson 1:

Apostrophes

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English grammar

Contractions

Apostrophes are used to show missing letters in contractions, shortened words or numbers, or dialect.

Can + not = can't
Will + not = won't
I + have = I've
They + are = they're
It + is (or It + has) = it's
of the clock = o'clock
running = runnin'
1993 = '93

Possessive Nouns

Apostrophes help a noun or indefinite pronoun show ownership by making it possessive.

The bone of the dog = the dog's bone
The house of Jonas = Jonas's house
The cries of the children = the children's cries
The trails of the jets = the jets' trails
The papers of everyone = everyone's papers
Note:
Possessive pronouns are already possessive, so they don't need an apostrophe.
The backpack of the boy = his backpack

Plural Numbers, Letters, and Abbreviations

In the past, apostrophes were used to make letters, numbers, abbreviations, and "words used as words" plural. In modern style, apostrophes are used only for plural "words as words" and plural lowercase letters. It is also necessary to use italics in addition to the apostrophe in these two situations. It is not necessary to use either italics or an apostrophe to make capital letters or numbers plural.

  • Letters and Numbers

    "Mind your p's and q's" is now "Mind your p's and q's."
    (Notice how the apostrophe and the s are not italicized.)
    "Two A's" is now "two As."
    1940's is now 1940s.

  • Words as Words

    Older style: Check the there's in your essay and make sure they shouldn't be their's
    Modern style: Check the there's in your essay and make sure they shouldn't be their's.
    (Notice how the apostrophe and the s are not italicized.)

Practice What You've Learned

English grammar
Directions:
Insert one or more apostrophes in each of the following sentences by clicking before, after, or between the appropriate letter(s).
1.
Are'you'sure'you'won't'have'some'more'ice'cream?
2.
There'aren't'any'more'copies'of'that'book.
3.
My'cat'doesn't'like'to'go'near'our'pool.
4.
My'grandfather'always'says,'"That'ol'cat'has'used'up'er'nine'lives."
5.
I'would've'liked'to'see'that'movie,'but'I'was'studying'for'exams.
6.
When'my'great-grandfather'talks'about'the'year'12,'he'means'1912,'not'2012.
7.
It'll'be'challenging,'but'I'think'I'can'get'it'done'on'time.
8.
Our'two'ferrets'cage'is'in'my'bedroom.
9.
Yes,'let's'meet'at'the'library'this'weekend'to'work'on'our'project.
10.
"I'hope'y'all'brought'y'ur'appetites."
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