Uncategorized Writing & Blogging

How To Use Apostrophes Correctly

Oh, apostrophes. They can be the bane of my existence sometimes because (I will fully admit this) I sometimes forget their correct grammar use. So I thought that if I am having trouble with them, then there have to be other people who are as well! Half of the time, it’s pretty easy. But then there are some other rules that are easy to forget.

English grammar rules - Kate the (Almost) Great
I have divided the rules for using apostrophes into 3 categories, as some have multiple rules. Regular reminder where my expertise comes from: I was a ninth grade English teacher and have my bachelor’s degree in secondary Education and English from Vanderbilt University where I took an entire class on correct grammar.

Proper use of apostrophes Kate the (Almost) Great

1. How to use apostrophes with contractions

This is one you most likely already know – when writing contractions (or combining words), use an apostrophe, which indicates that you have left letters out.

Examples: you’re, we’re, don’t, can’t

Note: The only contraction you should use in formal writing is o’clock!

Proper use of apostrophes - Kate the (Almost) Great

2. How to use apostrophes with names and other proper nouns

The rule you probably already know is to add ‘s to make a singular noun possessive. This also applies to plural nouns that don’t end in s.

Example: Alice is Rebecca’s dog.

Example: The family’s house is in Maine.

What we drives me crazy every year is when holiday cards do this incorrectly, and I will fully admit that I messed up one year and told my mother that it was fine to have “The Mitchell’s wish you a merry Christmas!” when that is completely incorrect. MY BAD! Let’s blame it on fibro fog?

Proper use of apostrophes Kate the (Almost) Great

Where it gets tricky is making a noun that ends in s possessive. The truth is that no one really agrees as to whether it is correct o to add ‘s or just an apostrophe, but the best idea is to stick to one method. The most common choice (and the one that I lean towards adopting) is to add ‘s to a regular noun that ends with s but just an apostrophe to a proper noun that ends in it. So:

Example: The class’s test was moved.

Example: Dr. Richards’ surgery schedule is the same every week.

Proper use of apostrophes - Kate the (Almost) Great

3. How to use apostrophes to make other stuff plural

If you are making any of the following plural, add ‘s: numbers, letters, signs, words referred to in a sentence.

Example: 8’s are my lucky number.

Example: Sometimes, my t’s blend into other letters when I write.

Example: I like to use -‘s in my writing.

Example: Why are there so many apostrophe‘s in this blog post?

There you have it! Any questions? Any requests for future grammar tutorials?

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