ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fixing apostrophe errors: examples

Updated on August 26, 2013

Apostrophe ignorance

We all need some help fixing apostrophe errors. Apostrophe ignorance is rampant. To give you an example, a flier arrived in my mailbox at the college where I teach communications. "Loan's galore", screamed the headline. Whaaaat! I couldn't believe it. Doesn't everyone know that you don't use an apostrophe with the plural of a noun? Apparently not. I regularly red circle misplaced and misused apostrophes Do a Google search for apostrophe blogs and you'll find ardent chroniclers documenting offending signs offering everything from "sundae's`", `"pie's" or oil "change's".What's going on? Apparently we've forgotten the apostrophe rules.

We don't know how to use apostrophes

When not to use the apostrophe

So let's get started fixing apostrophe errors. But, efore I tell you the apostrophe rules, I`ll tell you when not to use this tiny, but important piece of punctuation. Avoid putting apostrophe after possessive pronouns

For example:

  • His not his’
  • Hers, not hers’
  • Yours not yours’

And please, please, avoid using apostrophes for plural nouns ending in s.

It`s many houses, not many houses’, six girls, not six girls' and, of course, fresh pies, not 'pie`s'

Fixing apostrophe errors- some rules

Use apostrophes for contractions

  • To eliminate the “o” in not-- turn do not into don’t, and cannot into can’t.
  • To replace an “a” . for example I +am can turn into I’m
  • To join certain subjects and verbs. For example: I+will = I’ll, and I+would=I'd
  • It +is = it’s (note, that this is different than the possessive pronoun its. People often confuse these)
  • She+ has = she’s
  • They+are = the’re
  • Who+ is = who’s (not the posessive pronoun whose).

More on Omission

if you want to refer to that the summer of 1968, write the summer of '68

Plural of alphabet letters

Use an apostrophe as a visual cue to indicate the plural of letter of the Alphabet. For example: I gave four F's and four A`s last term. It would look so awkward if I wrote it as four Fs or four As.Similarly for the plural of certain expressions, it is acceptable to use an apostrophe. For instance: pay close attention to the do's and dont's of apostrophes.

Before the "S" or after?

Here are some rules whether to put before an s or after an s.

  • 1. For singular nouns that don't end in s, add an apostrophe and s. So if one girl has many curls, then it's thegirl's curls.
  • 2 - For singular nouns ending in s, add an apostrophe and s. For example: thelass'sglass,James's car, orKeats's book
  • 3 - For words two or more syllables ending in s, place apostrophe after the s. For example: thematresses' springs orSocrates' quotes.
  • 4 - For pluralnouns ending in s, add the apostrophe after the s. For example: thefarmers' field, theWilliamses' house, theBrowns' party, or thecompanies' products.
  • 5 - For plural nouns not ending in s, place the apostrophe before the s. For example: the children's playhouse, the women's auxilliary, or the men's washroom
  • 6 - For indefinite pronouns, add the apostrophe and s. For example: sombody's hat,anyone's problem, oreverybody's concern.
  • 7 - For compound nouns or word groups, add an apostrophe and an s to the last word. For example: my father-in-law's house, or somebodyelse's house.
  • 8 - To indicate joint ownership (two or more people who own something), add apostrophe and an s only to the last person's name in the series of names. For example: Jean, Max, andJeff's store.
  • 9 - To indicate individual ownership in a group of two or more people, add an apostrophe and s to each person's name. For example:Mary's andSusan's books.


Submit a Comment

  • Victoria Lynn profile image

    Victoria Lynn 

    6 years ago from Arkansas, USA

    I wrote a hub, too, about apostrophes--a while back. The misuse of apostrophes is one of my greatest peeves! It seems so easy to NOT put an apostrophe on a plural noun, but I see it all the time, too. Makes me crazy! I like this hub. It's well-written and to the point. A great lesson for folks! Nice to see other people who write about grammar. :-) Many votes!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)