For such a tiny piece of punctuation, a misused apostrophe has great power to irritate and confuse. (Think fingers on a chalkboard for English teachers…) Misused Apostrophes
1. Contraction 2. Possession 2 Uses of an Apostrophe
Combining two words into one I am -------- I’m They are --------- They’re Contractions are fine in speech, but they should be avoided in formal writing. For writing in this course, please do not use contractions in your work. Contraction
Add ‘s to the word that indicates the owner. If the resulting word ends in a double or triple s, delete the last s, and leave the apostrophe. Ex) Debbie’s books Ex) My boss’s books ----Keep the ‘s when it represents a sound that is pronounced Ex) The students’s books------The students’ books Possession
Putting the apostrophe in the wrong place can change the meaning of the sentence. Ex) The teacher’s office means that there is one teacher with an office. The teachers’ office means that multiple teachers share an office. The teachers’s office is just plain wrong! Apostrophe Problems
Plurals Never make a word plural by adding an apostrophe. Apostrophes are for possession and contractions ONLY. Ex) Apostrophe’s have simple rules. WRONG!!!
A Bit of Practice 1. It’s nobodys business. 2. I really like that guitars sound. 3. Mikes’ feelings were hurt. 4. The Smiths’ house was sold yesterday. 5. My boss’s tie is ugly. 6. I do not like apostrophes.