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11.6: Apostrophes

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    We use apostrophes to indicate a possessive noun. Follow these rules to create possessive nouns with apostrophes.

    1. Add [‘s] to the singular form of the word (even if it ends in –s).
      Ex. the owner’s insurance, the waitress’s coat
    2. Add [‘s] to the plural forms that do not end in –s.
      Ex. the children’s game, the people’s opinion
    3. Add [‘] to the end of plural nouns that end in –s.
      Ex. the three friends’ cars, the workers’ benefits
    4. Add [‘s] to the end of compound words.
      Ex. my brother-in-law’s money
    5. Add [‘s] to the last noun to show joint possession of an object.
      Ex. Tom and Monica’s house

    Apostrophes are also used in contractions. We define a contraction as a word in which one or more letters have been omitted. The apostrophe shows this omission.


    • don’t = do not
    • I’m = I am
    • he’ll = he will
    • you’re = you are
    • won’t = will not
    • could’ve = could have

    Review Questions

    For each sentence, insert missing apostrophes or omit unnecessary apostrophes.

    1. Jack's and Jill's hill is nothing more than a mound of dirt on the southwest corner of Farmer Johns land.
    2. One's labor is proportional to ones' wealth.
    3. George shouldn't say that he'll be in the library when he obviously wont.
    4. Ill be back.
    5. Who'll referee those kid's soccer game if not for you're brother.

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