Apostrophe Rules And Its Usage

how to use apostrophe in a sentence

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Apostrophe [ ’ ] Rules And Usage

In the use of english language, apostrophe is a comma-like sign put on a word to show some certain things. When apostrophe is placed on a word, it may shows possession or omission or contraction or even to pluralize items, such as words or numbers.top↑

Functions And Rules Of Apostrophe [ ’ ]

a] Possession Function : Some candidates tends to put apostrophe anywhere they find s, but NO. One of the conditions for using the apostrophe sign [ ’ ] is that, you need to be sure that someone possesses something. (Rule 1)
What type of possession are we talking about?, let check.top↑

Types Of Possession Function Rules Of Apostrophe

1) Singular Possession Rule : Is when only one person or thing possesses something,
For example; james, Adam, The man, Mary, My dad, My brother, each of this noun is singular and should have an apostrophe on the name. But only where the name of that person on thing (noun) ends in s and the apostrophe sign [ ’ ] ‘s’, should be before what the person possesses.top↑

E.g

i) Mary’s car

ii) James’s shoe.
Note : don’t ever think because james already has an s, so you should have it like this “Jame’s”, NO, it should be has written above even if you name ends with numerous s

iii) My dad’s bike.
You can see that the apostrophe comes after the name of the owner, not after the owner’s possession.top↑

2) Plural Possessor Rule : Is when more than on person or thing possesses something, e.g. The boys, your friends, The girls, My dogs.
In this case, the apostrophe sign [ ’ ] should be placed after the s,

e.g

i) The girls’

ii) My friends’

iii) My dogs’

Do you understand the difference between the first rule and the second rule now, don’t worry we’ll take more examples at the end of session.

3) Possessor Of Possession Rule : this is used when someone possesses something and that thing possesses something, in this case both possessors must carry the apostrophe sign [ ’ ].top↑

e.g

1) Mary has a boss.

2) The Boss has an aeroplane.

The two expressions above can be written into one like,

1) Mary’s boss’s aeroplane

Let look at one more example to clear the air.
I myself, Uncle ASAP has a son, and my son has a car, and if maybe you saw my son’s car and you wanted to express the statement, instead of saying, “That is the car of Uncle Asap’s son, you can say;

Uncle ASAP’s son’s car.
Or something like this;
My John’s son’s car.top↑

4] Possessor In Irregular Plural Form : example of irregular plural forms are, children, men, women and so on, and also example of regular plural forms are;
Girl + s = girls
Boy + s = boys
Table + s = tables
Woman + s = womans, does that sounds right, “NO”, so you can’t have something like, womans, mens, man and so on.
So this irregular noun (children, women) will take an apostrophe after [ ’ ] them.top↑

e.g

i) One man’s Job.

ii) Two boy’s food.

iii) Two children’s bag

iv) One child’s

Note : Using one’s in this manner will be introducing another meaning.

5) Family Possessor Rule : This is when a family possesses something, and in this case, the must come before the name of the family and an s must be added to that name, plus apostrophe sign after the s,top↑
e.g
i) The family of Salvatore have a factory
The above statement can be written as;
The Salvatores’ Factory.

ii) The family of Smith has a private jet.
The above statement can be written as;
The Smiths’ private jet.

6) Possessors Ending Rule : this is used in situation where you have possessor noun ending in s, e.g, ladies, princess, bags, boys, etc. Such possessors noun will have apostrophe at the end but without any additional stop↑

Example 1

i) The boys helmets

ii) The princess crown.

iii) The ladies shoes.

I hope you are seeing the differences in the rules pattern.

7) Joint Possession : This is used when two or more people possess one thing, in this kind of situation, the name of the two or even more (maybe 20) possessors will be written down, but only the the last name that will carry an apostrophe sign and s, have it in mind that the sign comes the.stop↑

e.g

Waponpoint.com is own by me and Azeez Warith

i) So I can say:
Uncle ASAP and Azeez Warith’s website Or,

ii) Azeez Warith and Uncle ASAP’s website not,

iii) Uncle ASAP’s and Azeez Warith’s website

iv) Uncle ASAPs or Azeez Wariths website .{without the apostrophe sign)

v) Uncle ASAPs’ and Azeez Wariths’ website.

8) Time As Possessor Rule : this is used when time is mentioned and it is usually treated as if it were a human possessor.top↑

For example;
i) I will come in two weeks’ time. (apostrophe after weeks) instead of saying “I will come when it is two weeks”

ii) I have two months’ vacation. (apostrophe after two months) instead of saying my vacation will be two months

iii) Lagos is only an hour’s drive from ibadan. (apostrophe after an hour “one”) instead of saying “it takes only an hour to drive from ibadan to lagos”.top↑

9) Greek, Biblical And Roman Names In Possession Rule : Greek names usually end in s, e.g. Socrates, Aristophanes, Euripides, etc. In case, no additional s will be given but there will be an apostrophe after the name.

E.g

i) Euripides’ plays.

ii) Socrates’ philosophy.

10) Sake As Possessor Rule : this is used, when sake appears in a statement, in this case, it is treated as a human possessor . When what comes in front (precede) of sake ends in s, do not add any apostrophe or any s,top↑

For example: for james sake for happiness sake, for goodness sake, etc. But if the word that precede sake does not end in s, it is necessary to put an apostrophe and s.

e.g

i) For the sake of John can be interpreted as for john’s sake.

ii) For the sake of God can be interpreted as for God’s sake.

iii) For the sake of heaven can be interpreted as for heaven’s sake.top↑

11) English Names As Possessors Rule : English names such as Charles, James, Francis etc, that end in s. In this situation there are two forms, which are:

i) It is either you add, additional s and an apostrophe before the s that you added, e.g.
a. That is James’s car (another s after james)

Or

ii) You will not add any additional s but there will be an apostrophe at the end of the name, e.g.
a. That is James’ car

Do you understand the two forms now.top↑

12) Apostrophe Showing People’s Homes Or Things Rule : let assuming you have a brother named Michael, and you go out with his car, if someone ask you that, whose car is that?
Instead of saying it is Michael’s car you can say it’s Michael’s (without mentioning the car)

ii) Where are you going? Am going to John’s house can be interpreted as am going to John’stop↑

Those are the rules that guide the usage of apostrophe, now let look at things you must consider and things you must not do.

Things You Shouldn’t Do In Consideration To Apostrophe

a] Possessive Pronouns : Don’t ever add apostrophe possessive pronoun, such as mine, his, hers, yours, ours, theirs not mine, his, her, yours, theirs, ours, and I don’t have to tell you that there is nothing like thems.
Also : it is Yours faithfully not your’s faithfully. (A lot of candidates makes mistake about this so you should note it)top↑

Brief : Yours faithfully is use only when it is official, you can’t write a letter to you brother and use yours faithfully instead you use yours sincerely but when it is official, you know what to use “yours faithfully” I’ll explain better when we get to letter writing.

b] Do not use my own, his own, her own, our own, etc. Instead, use mine, ours, hers, etc.top↑

E.g
i) It is mine not it is my own

ii) It is hers not it is her own
So if you know that you have been damaging English grammar for a long time, then I think this is your chance to apologize and start using the right grammar.

c] There is a difference between its and it’s : its means belonging to it for example, the animal with its behavior.
While it’s means it is or it has,top↑

for example

i) It’s mine is the same thing as it is mine.

ii) it’s gone is the same thing as it has gone, you should knowthat there is nothing like “it is gone”

I hope you still remember that, all the above rules is under possession function now let look at contraction function.

Contraction Function

2] Contraction Function : this simply means shortening of words and figures.top↑

e.g
a) Shall not as shan’t

b) Cannot as can’t (can not)

c) Will not as won’t

d) Ought not as oughtn’t

e) Must not as mustn’t

f) Have not as haven’t

g) 80 as 1980 note: 80s means 1980+, like 1981, 1982…..

h) I would go as i’d go

I) I had gone as i’d gone.top↑

Pluralisation Function And Its Rules Of Apostrophe

1] Pluralisation function : Apostrophe can also be used to pluralise short words, abbreviations, figures and titles.
e.g

a) Book Title » There are two Romeo and Juliet’s in the library.
The statement above doesn’t mean there are two copies of the book, but there are two versions or edition of the booktop↑

Another example,
ii) There are two waponpoint.com’s on the internet. This mean there are two versions of waponpoint.com (I.e mobile version and desktop version).
This implies that, not only as a book title.

b) Short words » e.g There are three car’s in my garage, that looks like the cheapest right? Yea, but what if it comes in this manner;

i) There are three he’s in the sentence.

Or

ii) She used only four and’s in her sentence.
Other words that can be pluralise are pronoun, conjunctions, prepositions and conditionals.
top↑

 

c) Abbreviations » Abbreviations such as VC, HM, MG, cannot take apostrophe but they take s, e.g. MGs, VCs, MPs
Note: that, the s is in small letter not capital.
top↑

Next Topic : Term Verbs And Ne-Plus Ultra Adjectives

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