There are few things more frustrating (or common, even among students) than not knowing where the apostrophe goes. It may seem like a small piece of punctuation, but it can completely change the meaning of a sentence if it’s not used correctly.
So, where does the apostrophe go? Let’s dive into the top rules and examples to master apostrophes.
One of the most common uses of apostrophes is to show possession. In this case, the apostrophe will go before the s at the end of a word, indicating that the noun possesses something. For example, “Jack’s car” indicates that the car belongs to Jack. If the noun is plural, the apostrophe will go after the ‘s’ at the end of the word, indicating that the whole group possesses something. For example, “the dogs’ leashes” indicates that the leashes belong to multiple dogs.
Another common use of apostrophes is to indicate contractions. In this case, the apostrophe will replace the letters that have been removed. For example, “It’s” is a contraction of “It is” and “haven’t” is a contraction of “have not.” Make sure not to confuse contractions with possessives – “its” is a possessive pronoun and doesn’t require an apostrophe, while “it’s” is a contraction of “it is” and does.
This is where things can get tricky. A common mistake is to use an apostrophe to indicate a plural, but this is incorrect. Apostrophes should only be used to show possession or contractions. For example, “I have three dogs” is correct, while “I have three dog’s” is not. There are a few exceptions to this rule, such as with abbreviations (CD’s) or when referring to a singular letter as a plural (cross your t’s).
4. Names Ending in ‘s’
If your question is: where does the apostrophe go with names ending in s’? This is another tricky one. When a name ends in ‘s,’ it’s common to wonder whether the apostrophe goes before or after the ‘s.’ The general rule is to add an apostrophe and another ‘s’ after the name, indicating possession. For example, “Thomas’s book” is correct. However, if adding another ‘s’ would create an awkward or difficult-to-pronounce word, you can simply add an apostrophe after the ‘s.’ For example, “Charles’ coat” is also correct.
Example 1: The dog’s bone
In this example, the apostrophe comes before the ‘s’ because we’re showing that the bone belongs to the dog.
Example 2: The girls’ soccer team
Here, the apostrophe comes after the ‘s’ because it’s a plural noun and we’re showing that the team belongs to multiple girls.
Example 3: You’re going to love this movie.
In this example, the apostrophe is used in the contraction “you’re,” which means “you are.”
Example 4: CDs are becoming obsolete.
This is an example of a correct plural – no need for an apostrophe here!
Example 5: Chris’ guitar is in the corner.
Again, this is an example where an apostrophe comes after the ‘s’ since adding another ‘s’ would create an awkward word.
Example 6: The book belonging to Sara’s roommate was left on the sofa.
Here, the apostrophe appears before the ‘s’ to indicate possession: the book belongs to Sara’s roommate.
Example 7: I don’t think that’s the right way to spell potato’s.
In this example, the writer is attempting to form a plural with an apostrophe in order to pluralize the word ‘potato.’ However, as we previously noted, apostrophes should not be used in this manner. Rather, simply add an ‘s’ to the end of the word to make it plural: potatoes.
Example 8: The boys’ toys were all over the floor.
In this case, since the noun ‘boys’ is already plural, we add the apostrophe after the ‘s’ to indicate possession. Notice that there isn’t an additional ‘s’ added, as that would simply be redundant.
Example 9: It’s raining cats and dogs.
In this example, the apostrophe is used in the contraction “it’s,” which is short for “it is.” This phrase means that it is raining heavily, and is merely a commonly used idiom.
Example 10: The party at Jenny’s was amazing!
This example features the usage of apostrophe’s after the name ‘Jenny’. Since the name ends in ‘y,’ proper use indicates that adding an ‘s’ then an apostrophe is appropriate. Again, if the word is too awkward or difficult to pronounce with an ‘s,’ you may simply use the apostrophe: “My boss’ office is on the 5th floor.”
Where Does the Apostrophe Go? | Conclusion
So where does the apostrophe go? It’s worth noting that there are a few exceptions to the standard rules of apostrophes. For example, when using a word such as “its,” which is a possessive pronoun, there is no apostrophe. Similarly, when using a plural noun that doesn’t end in ‘s,’ such as “children,” possessive usage indicates that adding apostrophes and an ‘s’ is correct: “The children’s books were all checked out of the library.”
Apostrophes are an essential component of written English, and mastering their use is a must for writers of all levels. By remembering the basic rules and applying them consistently throughout your writing, you can be sure that your writing is clear, accurate, and effective. So start practicing with these examples and soon enough, you’ll be using apostrophes like a pro!
If you are still wondering where does the apostrophe go, it might be worth having us here at WriterArmy help you out. We have dedicated content writers that would be happy to assist you in your content endeavors. After meticulously checking all content, we strive for perfection, so that you don’t have to! Feel free to book a strategy session with our team. We would love to help!