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Elysian Proofreading - Apostrophes Blog

Welcome to my first blog post!

Apostrophes are the grammar demons that we all fear. For many, they're a mystery and most people struggle when it comes to using them properly.

Apostrophes can be used to show: the plural form of a word, the possessive form of a noun, or a contraction. Understanding when and how to use apostrophes will help you make your writing look cleaner, and convey your thoughts clearly.

In this post, I will cover apostrophes and how to use them properly. I'll use some industry jargon, but also layman's terms, so that everyone can use this information effectively.

An apostrophe shows possession, replaces a missing numeral or letter and is sometimes used to form a plural where just adding an 's' causes confusion.

For singular nouns, a possessive is formed by adding 's.

The apostrophe 's' indicates that something belongs to someone or something.

  • This is my daughter's hat.

  • Hannah's bracelet is being repaired at the jewellers.

The same principle can also be applied to something that belongs to a thing.

  • The dinosaur's footprint was humongous!

When a word ends in 's' you can simply add an apostrophe at the end of the word.

  • The species' extinction followed a catastrophic event.

(species' - plural form but singular in meaning)

  • This is my parents' house.

(parents' - possessive noun already plural)

A contraction is a word that is a grammatically correct way of combining two different words, and it generally uses an apostrophe.

  • it's - it is

  • you're - you are

  • they're - they are

  • there's - there is

  • who's - who is


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