10 Apostrophe Rules That Will Get You out of Grammar Perpetual Stupor

A Latin alphabet, as well as a bunch of other alphabets, includes the apostrophe that acts as a diacritical mark and punctuation mark. Apostrophe looks almost the same way as a quotation mark but bears completely different functions.

On the keyboard, many people confuse it with a prime symbol, which is actually used for the arc-minutes indication and different mathematical functions. But apostrophe has its own appearance and own history it shouldn’t be confused or substituted by the other symbols that represent totally different meanings because that way you harm grammar. Care about grammar too much? Join the club, use apostrophe checker after writing, it’s basic thing to do.

Just as in the majority of languages the apostrophe in the English language is used to indicate:

  • Omission of one or two letters in the end of the sentence (especially widespread in some modern dialects)
  • Creating the possessive case (as in the cat’s paws, or dog’s hair)
  • Plural form creation from single (e.g. p’s and q’s, three a’s, four i’s, and two u’s, Oakland A’s).
  • To indicate contractions

history of grammar apostrophe.Historical development. The apostrophe was first used by Pietro Bembo in his edition of De Aetna (1496). It was introduced into English in the 16th century in imitation of French practice. Apostrophe comes ultimately from Greek ἡ ἀπόστροφος [προσῳδία] (hē apóstrophos [prosōidía], “[the accent of] ‘turning away’, or elision”), through Latin and French.

Perfection Has It’s Price: Apostrophe Use and Misuse

apostrophe rules funny mistakes

image credit: grammarly.com

16 sepapare match-ups shown shown the most annoying grammar mistake that people make and the apostrophe misuse took one of the first places in the chart. Apostrophes are hated, ignored, erased and misuses throughout the world:

  • The Domestic Names Committee of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names doesn’t like the apostrophes, as reported by Wall Street Journal.
  • The Cambridge City Council suggested abolishing the apostrophe use on street signs according to The Telegraph.
  • The Internet doesn’t include apostrophes as part of Web addresses (for example: McDonald’s is mcdonalds.com which is totally abusive (if you’re an apostrophe yourself).

But as known, the major or conflicts and problems come from misunderstanding, probably the apostrophe is just a little misunderstood and that’s why we’ve gathered the most painful questions about apostrophe use with answers and examples to them. Learn grammar apostrophe rules till it’s not too late: Vote for mistakes you liked the most!

10 Easy Rules for Apostrophes in Questions and Answers

Q: Apostrophe with a possessive pronoun, how to use it?

A: The truth behind this question is that a possessive pronoun doesn’t require an apostrophe, let us illustrate the case:apostrophe rules example


  • That cat is his.
  • No, it’s mine!

The only exception here is that indefinite pronouns can be turned into possessive with an apostrophe.


  • One – one’s

Q: An apostrophe with capital letters – how to use it?

A: Use ’s after the capital letter to identify as a letter, not a word in case you need to describe plural letters, if you misuse the apostrophe in i’s the reader might simply misinterpret as is.apostrophe use example


  • Show your P’s and Q’s here.

Q: How to use an apostrophe with words ending in x to pluralize? When should I apply apostrophe with x and how to use an apostrophe with z?

A: Regularly when you pluralize the words you simply need to add ‘s’ to them, when the family name is pluralized we still add the ‘s’ ending to them, if the family name has an ending like x, ch, sh, or z, however, we need to add ‘es’ to form the proper ending.grammar apostrophe rules


  • Come to visit Maddoxes

Q: I’m confused about apostrophe with a family name, how do I put an apostrophe with a name ending in s?

A: An apostrophe with s is used just like in the abovementioned example, the names ending with s, x, sh, or z are formed by adding ‘es’ ending instead of regular ‘s’. We don’t need an apostrophe.main rules for apostrophes


  • Come to visit Bushes

Q: Is using an apostrophe with years different from apostrophe with decades? Where to use an apostrophe with dates?

A: When you make abbreviations in years you can cut the first two numbers and substitute the omission with the apostrophe. Using the apostrophe to indicate the decades is seemingly good for the blog or comment writing but your should know that for APA style it is a bad tone and something like 1960’s is inappropriate.sentences with apostrophe examples


Apostrophe with years.

  • 2001 turn into ’01
  • 2525 turn into ’25 (if you’re still alive)

Apostrophe with decades.

  • Music was great in 1960s.

Q: Do I have to use an apostrophe with days of the week?

A: Everything will depend on the context of the sentence in this case. If you want to say something more than one Sunday or Wednesday, like “On Sunday I go swimming”, then you don’t need to use an apostrophe. If you want to tell about something that happens on the meaning includes just ONE Sunday or Wednesday, like “I was late for Monday’s party”, then you use an apostrophe.how to use apostrophe rules


  • On Sunday I go swimming
  • I was late for Monday’s party

Q: How to use an apostrophe with ownership? How does apostrophe with possession transform the word?

A: That’s what an apostrophe was created for – to show ownership or a possession. With singular nouns, you just add the apostrophe and the letter after it. An apostrophe with adding ‘s’ is never added to make a noun plural.wrong apostrophe use


  • This is Mandy’s jacket.
  • Mary is Bridges’ daughter.

Q: Apostrophe with proper nouns, can they create plurals? How do I use an apostrophe with plural nouns?

A: There are conflicting policies regulating the proper nouns that are ending with ‘s’. Some sources like Associated Press Stylebook recommend adding to them just an apostrophe but the majority of authors endorse ’s: like Williams’s. By adding an apostrophe to the proper noun you just create a possessive form of the noun but not plural.when to use rules for apostrophes


  • It’s Tennessee Williams’ play

Q: How to use an apostrophe with acronyms? Where to place apostrophe with names?

A: Nowadays apostrophes are also used in plural acronyms, like “ICBM’s” “NGO’s” and “NATO’s”. The general rule is that you should not try to use an apostrophe to create the plurals of nouns, it’s wrong.right apostrophe use


  • I have plenty of CD’s.
  • Are there NGO’s in other countries?

Q: How do I define where to put apostrophe with ‘others’? Each other’s or each others’?

Here’s the logic behind this – plural nouns end with ‘s’ in such case you need to write just an apostrophe, like “these pupils’ books” (not “these pupil’s books”). The possessive apostrophe should be in the place. In “each other”, case the “other” is in the singular form as it follows “each”— you can’t say “each pupils” instead of “each pupil”, so that when you add the possessive ’s, there’s it – the correct construction.grammar apostrophe funny examples


  • We didn’t hold each other’s hand(s)

If you don’t want your documents to look unprofessional you must learn those basic 20 apostrophe rules and never confuse it on the keyboard with other symbols. Just remember that apostrophe is primarily used for showing a possession, indicating contractions. Writing sentences with apostrophe and practice will help you to understand it better.

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