Apostrophe Worksheets

Why Are Apostrophes Important?

Apostrophes are the most abused and improperly used punctuation marks in English. In many cases, people have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to using them. They get tripped up by apostrophes.

Apostrophes present an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your superior intelligence and education. They can be used in different contexts, making it difficult to know when it would be inappropriate to do so. Since apostrophe disasters are so widespread, you need to know why apostrophes are important.

1. Possessiveness

Use an apostrophe to showcase maximum possessiveness. Its primary function is to indicate ownership. The rule of thumb is to use an apostrophe for plurals and a s for singulars.

Words like Charles, which end in the letter s, can be a bit of a challenge. In this case, you can either use a simple apostrophe (Charles’) or a combination of an apostrophe and s (Charles’s), depending on your preferred writing style. Thus, all are viable options; however, the addition of an apostrophe and s is preferred.

One typical error is adding “ies” to the end of words that end in a y, such as a symphony, to form symphonies. It is unnecessary unless you intend to make the word plural. Add an apostrophe and a s to the symphony to deem it possessive.

What Should You Do with Irregular Plurals?

Irregular plural nouns, such as children and teeth, are another frequent mistake. The apostrophe and s are added to certain nouns, as in children’s toys and teeth’s roots.

2. Contractions

Another fantastic but somewhat perplexing usage of apostrophes is in contractions. The capacity of apostrophes to merge words in a literal sense is fantastic. However, it is often misused. You can combine they and are into they’re with the help of an apostrophe.

Moreover, do not becomes “don’t”; you are becomes “you’re”, and who is becomes “who’s.” Likewise, the two syllables of cannot can also be dealt with with the use of an apostrophe. It can be abbreviated to can’t.

Does it Always Work?

The use of its or it’s is at the center of a debate. The fundamental rule is that it’s can be written as it is, and that its indicates ownership. Sounding the statement with it is as the first letter can help you get it right.

Similarly, in some cases, people mistake they’re for their or who’s for whose when writing. This is a catastrophic failure. Once again, sounding out the sentence with the contraction separated into two words is a quick and straightforward method to grasp the issue at hand. Pronouncing they’re company as if it were they are company is obviously incorrect.

Avoid Pluralization

You can pitch the apostrophes for plurals, with one notable exception. Using an apostrophe to make a word plural is the most frequent yet worst case of the error.

Avoid using apostrophes for pluralization, with one possible exception that is unlikely to arise in everyday use. In English, we say brothers instead of brother’s. Reports is the correct plural form, not report’s. Statuses is the correct plural form of status, not status’s, and so on.

Similarly, abbreviations are not exempt from this rule. When referring to master’s degrees, the plural is MDs (not MD’s).