A lot of native English speakers don’t always use an apostrophe correctly! We don’t always get it right! I will try and make the rules as simple as I can and then you can go apostrophe spotting! Please upload photos of any mistakes you find onto our Facebook page.
There are two main rules:
♦ Apostrophes are used to show that one or more letters are missing e.g
I’ve instead of I have
I don’t instead of I do not
♦ Apostrophes are used to show possession of the noun
Alex’s shoes which shows that the shoes belong to Alex
Tandy’s blog which shows that the blog belongs to Tandy
The snake’s tail which shows the tail belongs to the snake
A problem arises when the person or thing owning the noun ends in an s.
Jess’ shoes NOT Jess’s shoes
Mr Jones’ hat NOT Mr Jones’s hat (his name is Mr Jones which ends in an s)
The actress’ costume NOT the actress’s costume
When the singular noun ends in an s we do not usually add another s, we simply put an apostrophe after the first s that is already there – although it is grammatically correct to have the extra s , stylistically we do not do it.
Regular plural nouns
to make a plural we usually add an s or es. Here we simply put an apostrophe after the first s that is already there ( this s shows the noun is a plural and the apostrophe after it shows possession). We do not add another s
the boys’ books shows that the books belong to the boys – here boys is plural, we are talking about more than one boy (if there was only one boy we would write the boy’s book)
our neighbours’ house shows that the house belongs to our neighbours and that there is more than one neighbour (if there was only one neighbour we would write our neighbour’s house).