Harriet Diamond - To Be Or Not To Be An Apostrophe

By Harriet Diamond

creator of harrietdiamond.net

Personal choice:  Organizations may or may not choose to use an apostrophe in their names or products.

 

Starbucks                                           McDonald’s

Shoppers Choice                               Taster’s Choice

Consumers Union                               Lowe’s

                                           

Follow the Rules:

ü The apostrophe primarily shows possession:

the child’s sweater; the company’s policy; the women’s movement 

 

Plurals can get tricky:

Listen to the sound.

 

The Simpsons’ (cat) remains two syllables because that’s the sound; consequently, no additional s is added after the apostrophe. The Jones’s (cat) adds the second syllable when pronounced; therefore, an s follows the apostrophe.

 

Note the placement of the apostrophe with singular and plural words that end in y but change to ies when plural: the lady’s Kindle; the ladies’ book club

 

Note that only the second noun of two has an apostrophe:  Cindy and Alan’s home.  If, however, you’re showing individual possession, use two apostrophes:  Cindy’s and Alan’s opinions differ greatly.

 

Use the apostrophe for plurals of lower case letters: 

Watch your p’s and q’s.  Watch your Ps and Qs.  The CEOs met.

Some number tips:  1’s, 2’s, 3’s  but 1990s.

Ah, English!

The word its, which shows possession, does not have an apostrophe.  The word it’s is a contraction; the apostrophe stands for the letter i in it is

The word your, which shows possession, does not have an apostrophe.  The

word you’re is a contraction; the apostrophe stands for the letter a in you are.

 

 

 

 

 

Grammar in Plain EnglishWriting the Easy WayE-Z EnglishExecutive Writing American StylePerfect Phrases for Writing Company Announcements

Harriet Diamond is the author of Grammar in Plain English, E-Z English, Executive Writing American Style, Writing the Easy Way, and Perfect Phrases for Writing Company Announcements.  Her website is harrietdiamond.net

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