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.