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Published on May 30th, 2014 In category Grammar

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Rules to use Apostrophes in English Grammar

The Apostrophes are often used incorrectly in English (Both UK English and US English ). Here are some common rules how to use Apostrophes. The major use of Apostrophes is to show omission of letters in words and other is to show the possession. It is in the latter case where most make the mistakes.

1. Use an Apostrophe to Show the Omission of Letters in a word formation

For e.g. I am going to market = I’m going to market other words where it is frequently as

he is (he’s)
She is (she’s)
we are (we’re)
will not (won’t)
who is (who’s)
is not (isn’t)
are nor (aren’t)
can not (can’t)

BE CAREFUL with IT IS (it’s) it is different than possessive now ITS (its)
for e.g..
It’s the first day of school of this session.
Parrot escaped from its cage.

2. Use of Apostrophe for expressing possession. 
There is distinction in using Apostrophe for singular noun, plural noun and pronouns.

2a) In case of Singular NOUN use Apostrophe before S like Ram’s, Shyam’s
eg. This is Ram’s computer , Shyama’s pencil is red in colour

2b) In case of Plural NOUN use Apostrophe after S for eg. Students’ project (project belonging
to students). There are some exceptions here if the plural word doesn’t end with S like women,
men, children etc. where there is no S in end use women’s hats, men’s shirts, children’s toys etc.

3. Where NOT to use the Apostrophe
3a) With with Possessive Pronouns Because possessive pronouns already show ownership, it’s*
NOT necessary to add an apostrophe: yours, his, hers, its*, ours, theirs

3b) Do Not Use an Apostrophe to Form a Plural of Nouns including including dates, acronyms,
and family names.
For e.g.. it is correct to write 1990s not 1990’s
There is an EXCEPTION however Apostrophe is used when meaning is unclear
for eg. She couldn’t distinguish between his 6’s and 9’s.