Punctuation : Apostrophe

Apostrophe ( ’ ) is a punctuation mark that is used to indicate either possession (e.g., Rajah’s book) or the omission of letters or numbers (e.g., can’t, August ’04).

This is used more in Contractions.

Singular nouns indicate the possessive by adding ‘s:

• The tiger’s roar – indicating one tiger

Plural nouns indicate the possessive by adding this mark after the s’:

• The tigers’ roar- indicating more than one tiger

If the plural noun ends in an alphabet other than s, the possessive is indicated by adding ‘s:

• The kitten’s meowing – indicating more than one cat

While this mark has a specific use, many misuse it more often. For instance, ordinary plural words do not need this mark, many end up using it here.


• Price’s

• Worry’s

• Movie’s

The correct usage with these plural forms would read:

• Prices

• Worries

• Movies

This is also used in contractions (can’t for can not), which is where people also tend to get confused.

The most common confusion is with the possessive whose with who’s.

Who’s is simply a contraction of who is.


• Who’s fault is it?

The above sentence is incorrect. The correct usage is:

• Whose fault is it?

Another problem the users face is with names that end with an s.


• Thomas

• Charles

• Vilas

• Ulnas

The confusion here has much to do with the awkward sound that results. In such cases, you could either write the names:

• Thomas’ or Thomas’s

• Charles’ or Charles’s

• Vilas’ or Vilas’s

• Ulnas’ or Ulnas’s

However, it is preferable to use the second option in such cases.

Apostrophes should not be used in the pronouns hers, its, ours, yours and theirs.

This would be incorrect way to end the letter:

• Your’s truly

The correct way would be:

• Yours truly

Likewise, watch out for: it’s and its

Its (without an apostrophe) is a possessive that denotes belonging to it.


• The dog is expecting its dinner.

It’s (with an apostrophe) is a contraction of it is.


• The dog is expecting it’s dinner.

In the above two examples, the first sentence is correct.

For other examples of
Contractions with an apostrophe, Click Here !

In the case of this mark, you have to ensure that you do not misuse the words.

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