An apostrophe is most commonly used to indicate possession and omission of letters in words.
Using apostrophes to indicate the possessive form:
- add 's to singular and plural nouns not ending in -s and to indefinite pronouns
- Katherine's horse
- someone's notebook
- The horse was Katherine's
- Men's room
- children's game
- add ' only to singular nouns ending in s IF it does not make pronunciation difficult
- boss's desk
- Moses' wife
- James' snake
- add ' only to plural nouns ending in -s
- boys' wagon
- students' dormitory
Using apostrophes to indicate omission of letters in words:
- use an apostrophe to replace omitted letters, such as in contractions
- can't (cannot)
- isn't (is not)
- it's (it is)
- let's (let us)
- we're (we are)
- won't (will not)
Note: Do NOT use an apostrophe with possessive pronouns (his, hers, its, ours, yours, theirs, whose):
- The horse was hers.
- The horse ate its food.
Gain extra practice using the StudyMate activities below.