5 Useful Apostrophe Tips

Remember those grammar rules about apostrophes you learned back in grade school?

There are several native English linguists who don’t. And many non-native English linguists are uncertain when to use an apostrophe too.


So, when do we use apostrophes?

  • Are you indicating possession? Use an apostrophe.

George’s lawn was overgrown.

*if it is a regular plural and a possessive, put the apostrophe after the “s”.

The players’ clothes were torn and filthy.

  • Is it a contraction? Use an apostrophe.

is not = isn’t. Others with not; hasn’t, hadn’t, didn’t, wouldn’t, can’t.

she is = she’s. Others with is; there’s, he’s, it’s, Mary’s, France’s, who’s

I will = I’ll. Others with will; you’ll, she’ll, he’ll, we’ll, they’ll

you would = You’d. Others with would; I’d, he’d, we’d, they’d

they have = they’ve. Others with have;

we are = we’re. Others with are; you’re, they’re

I am = I’m

  • Its or it’s?

Are you trying to say, “it is” or “it has”? Use an apostrophe.

It is (it’s) too far to walk.

Are you indicating possession? Don’t use an apostrophe.

The dog is dirty. Its fur smells.

  • Is it a plural? Don’t use an apostrophe.

Camels are not very comfortable to ride.

  • If it is a possessive name ending in “s”? You can do it either way.

Lucas’s kitten is always crying.

Lucas’ kitten is always crying.

Just be consistent 😊


About the author:

GOSUB was born from a passion and enthusiasm for subtitling and teaching.

Having started as a linguistic teacher and then moving on to become the Operations Manager of a leading subtitling agency, I used my know-how, affection, and savvy to create efficient and exciting audio-visual courses.

From my years of experience working I have learned a mountain of information about subtitling and closed captioning. I decided to couple this involvement with my other skill set, which is teaching.

GOSUB was created for you, and I hope that you will find my courses of value.


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