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Home/Common Mistakes/Writing/Apostrophes/When to use apostrophes

When to use apostrophes

Apostrophes (‘) are used for showing possession and short form. They are not used to show plurals.

Showing possession:

  • Greta’s book.
    (Greta has a book.)
  • The dog’s bowl.
    (The dog has a bowl.)

Showing short form:
(it’s, can’t, haven’t, etc.)

  • It’s my car.
    (It is my car.)
  • I haven’t been to Indonesia yet.
    (I have not been to Indonesia yet.)

Plurals don’t have apostrophes:

  • Cat’s, Dog’s, Orange’s, ABC’s.
    Cats, Dogs, Oranges, ABCs.

Showing the possessive form of nouns and plural nouns that end with -s:

  • The actress’ best film.
    (The actress has a best film.)
  • The cars’ big wheels.
    (Many cars have big wheels.)
  • The heroes’ problems.
    (Many heroes have problems.)

Also, no apostrophes with possessive adjectives: my, your, his, her, its, our, their.

  • Shall we take your’s or their’s?
    Shall we take yours or theirs?
  • Our hotel room is next to their’s hotel room.
    Our hotel room is next to theirs.