Apostrophes have two jobs:
- to indicate that letters have deliberately been left out of a word (contractions) and
- to show possession or ownership.
Rarely, an apostrophe may be used to form plurals of words that are not nouns.
Letters are often left out to indicate slang words or mispronounciations.
- She’s comin’ home early, isn’t she?
- (Contractions = “She’s” and “isn’t.” The “g” is missing from “coming” to indicate a dialectal pronunciation.)
- I don’t think so. It’s already midnight.
- (Contractions = “don’t” and “It’s.”)
- the book of Tom = Tom’s book
- the collar belonging to the dog = the dog’s collar
Simply add an “s” to the word:
- In his box of 64 colors, he found four blues.
- At the contest, four people received firsts for their quilts.
- Back in the early 1940s, gasoline was rationed.
- How many green’s are in the box?
- How many people received second’s?
- Gasoline prices climbed steadily in the 2000’s then fell dramatically in late 2008.
- There are nine “s’s” in “possessionlessnesses.”
- (Single or pluralized letters should be surrounded by quotation marks.)