There are different ways that apostrophes can be used in the English language. The right usage is important since relations between items or things are shown by this mark. The main rules of its usage are showcased below:
- Use Apostrophe for Possession
This is the primary rule for using an apostrophe. In order to show possession, any singular noun is written along with the letter s with an apostrophe in the middle, for instance, Mrs. Down’s house or a man’s hat.
- Possession in Case of Common Nouns Ending with the Letter S
In the case of common nouns that end with letter s such as bus, cactus or proper nouns such as Christmas or Jones, it might be conflicting to use the apostrophe along with letter s, hence, the right formula to keep the meaning right needs to be applied. For instance, with the last name Jones, in order to show possession, it needs to end with apostrophe and letter s. Example Jones’s.
- In Certain Cases, Words Come with a Standalone Apostrophe
For instance, Texas’ weather, it also helps to denote something belonging to a person. For instance, Mr. Jones’ pen is an example.
- Use of Apostrophe for Regular Nouns in Singular or Plural
Nouns in singular would have an apostrophe before the letter s whereas, in plural form, the apostrophe is placed after the letter s to denote something that belongs to many. For instance, actresses’ dressing room is an instance of how apostrophe is used with a plural noun.
- Apostrophes Should not be Used to Denote Plural Form
For instance, the phrase “Many happy Christmases have been part of our childhood” is correct. Incorrect would be “Many happy Christmas’s have been part of our childhood”.
- Apostrophes Used for Clarity
In certain cases, with lowercase singular letters, apostrophes help to denote plural form. For example, “Several do’s and don’ts”.
- Use of Apostrophe with the Plural form of Irregular Nouns
Nouns such as tooth or child have different plural forms which are children or teeth. In case something related to that is being denoted, the apostrophe should be used after the word and the letter s placed after that. For example, ‘children’s hats’ is the correct form and ‘children’s’ hats’ is incorrect.
- The Apostrophe is also Used before a Shortened Word or Number in the Abbreviated Form
For instance, ‘Twas the night before my exams or “I was born in ’08.”
The above points showcase the main uses of the apostrophe in the English language.