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Even those of us who work with words occasionally sit scratching our heads at where the damn thing should go. But, despite our agony, most of the time the apostrophe is a much maligned punctuation mark. It does its job wonderfully well — if you can get your head around it.

One of the most common ways to use the apostrophe is in shortened phrases — where letters have been omitted in a group of words. The apostrophe basically takes the place of the missing letters. The quickest way to remedy this is to hit the quote key twice and delete the first one — that way you have a nice, correct punctuation mark facing the right way. Again, beware! Not all contractions need an apostrophe. These days it will only make you look like an old fuddy-duddy. But the other, more old-fashioned, way is to just have the apostrophe and leave out the s.

Possessives still confuse a lot of people.

Possessive Case

Think about if the noun is singular or plural and that will tell you where to put the punctuation mark:. For possessives, if something belongs to someone or something, there is no apostrophe as no letters are missing, so it would be:. This one is the worst.

How to use apostrophes (’) – About Words – Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

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When to use apostrophes - Laura McClure

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The Damned Apostrophe and How To Use It

Not only do we now know what they all mean but, where appropriate, we also learn their origins — some of which are fascinating and very surprising. Written by the late Sam Worthington, superb chef, restaurant critic and bon viveur How To Write Better. Should we ladies write swearwords? Have things changed? Take a look at this and share your views See More See Less. I mean, people and animals. Thanks Liz for your informative article. They have same meaning. Emilie: see my comment below to Cristobal. Liz, Thanks again for your help. Looking forward to reading more of these interesting and fruitful posts.

So, why are they written like that? Many thanks. A lot of other people get very annoyed about it! It is definitely not correct English to do this. Follow this rule whatever the final consonant. The pronominal possessives hers, its, theirs, yours, and oneself have no apostrophe. Yes, your point about plural nouns is correct. Reblogged this on infospot. Hello Liz, Thank you for this article. But what about possessive pronouns? Would you be so kind as to clarify, please? I look forward to hearing from you! Forming the possessive is extremely easy. Exceptions are confusing and unnecessary and can be ambiguous.

Otherwise, helpful. It ends with the s-sound.

Waterstones’ apostrophe: a victim of rebranding

The second is more common in formal writing. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.

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Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Skip to content. If you remember these three simple rules, you will avoid mistakes: 1 We use apostrophes to show who something belongs to , e.

For talking about possession, we use its and whose : Look at that chair — its leg has broken. Whose shoes are these?