How to use the apostrophe

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The apostrophe is used in a number of  ways.

1. To replace missing letters or numbers:

Can’t, won’t, shouldn’t, ‘60s, ‘70s

A lot of people write abbreviated decades with the apostrophe on the back side (e.g. 60’s, 70’s). That is wrong for two reasons. First, we need an apostrophe to replace the missing number – 19 – and we don’t use an apostrophe to show the plural of a number. Just put an s on the end.

2. To show possession:

Bob’s car, Judy’s home, Ed’s pen,

the Smiths’ new boat, children’s books

Note how the apostrophe is used in the plural form of words.

3. An apostrophe is used in the plural form of lowercase letters:

Remember your p’s and q’s.

4. To show a quotation inside a quotation (American English, anyway):

“Ed said to me the other day, ‘You know, Steve, we haven’t gone fishing in years.’ And he was right.”

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Tom Fuszard, content writer, blog writing, pr writing, web copy

 

 

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