#Prowrite: The Basics Part Three – Apostophes

Apostrophes are another element of punctuation that many of my younger (and older) students struggle with.

However, once you sit down and apply a few simple rules, apostrophes become much less difficult. It’s not glamorous but it is necessary!

There are two reasons an apostrophe is used: possession and contraction. This post looks at both uses.


Possession: to show than an object is owned by something/someone.


The dog’s bowl = The bowl that belongs to the dog.

The girl’s hair = The hair that belongs to the girl.


Contraction: to show that letters have been omitted when creating a contraction of two words.


It’s = It is
Let’s = Let us
Where’ve = Where have

Plural apostrophes are a bit trickier.


The dogs’ bowl = A bowl belonging to more than one. DOGS is plural, so the apostrophe goes after the ‘s’ in the plural noun.

The girls’ hair = The hair that belongs to more than one girl.

Also, if you have a proper noun, such as a name, that ends with the letter ‘s’, you do something slightly different.

EG: James’s textbook. Even though the word ends with an ‘s’, because it is singular (there’s only one James), the apostrophe goes after the ‘s’ and another ‘s’ is added afterwards.


Ziv Gray View All →

#Queer writer of #YAFantasy and #YALGBT content. Blogger of all things #YA and writing help.

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