Apostrophe Rules

Apostrophe Rules

Apostrophes are an often misused form of punctuation, but they aren’t as complicated as you might think. 

There are two situations that call for apostrophes. The first is when you want to indicate possession. For instance, if you want to say that a pen belongs to Jacob you write the following: “Jacob’s pen.” You might also say, “Sarah’s dog,” or “my mom’s purse.” The apostrophe is used to indicate ownership.

Apostrophes are also needed when you want to form contractions. A contraction is when you combine two words, like saying “you’re” instead of “you are,” or “couldn’t” instead of “could not.”

Apostrophe Usage Examples

You should only use “it’s” to represent the contraction “it is.” Because “it’s” means “it is,” you don’t use an apostrophe for the possessive form of “it.”

To learn more about apostrophes, review WriteLab’s Guide and our previous post Apostrophe Mistakes: Unnecessary and Missing.


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