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Apostrophe Rules

Singular Nouns vs. Plural Nouns


Singular
Dog
Glass
Baby
Tree
Hair
Necklace
Button
Box


Plural
Dogs
Glasses
Babies
Trees
Hairs
Necklaces
Buttons
Boxes
Exercise: Tell if the following nouns are
singular or plural:
Box Houses Horses
Cats Paper Dress
Slipper Wagon Carts
Forks Lamps Kitchen
Books Shoes Pony
Chair Garden Glass

Box (s) Houses (p) Horses (p)
Cats (p) Paper (s) Dress (s)
Slipper (s) Wagon (s) Carts (p)
Forks (p) Lamps (p) Kitchen (s)
Books (p) Shoes (p) Pony (s)
Chair (s) Garden (s) Glass (s)
Use an apostrophe to form the possessive
of singular and plural nouns
Joe + s= Joes Car flag + s = flags colors
Day + s = days effort glass + s = glasss cost

Note: if a PLURAL noun ends in s, just add an apostrophe
Cars + = cars interiors
Televisions + = televisions locations

Note: if a plural noun does NOT end in s, add an s to the
word.
Mice + s = mices women + s = womens


Exception Alert!!
If a name of two or more syllables ends in an
eez sound, the possessive is formed
WITHOUT an additional s

The tales of Ulysses = Ulysses tales
The speech of Orestes = Orestes speeches
The cancellation of the TV series = the TV
series cancellation.

2 or more syllables ending in an eez sound!
Series = (seer-eez)
Practice
1. The speeches of the students
2. The cars of the parents
3. The necklace of the customer
4. The cages of the animals
5. The popularity of the series
6. The engine of the car
7. The smell of the cheese
8. The books of the girls
9. The rings of the jewelers
10. The heel of Achilles
1. The students speeches
2. The parents cars
3. The customers necklace
4. The animals cages
5. The series popularity
6. The cars engine
7. The cheeses smell (only one syllable ending in eez)
8. The girls books
9. The jewelers rings
10. Achilles heel
When the names of two or more persons are used
to show joint ownership of the same thing, only the
name of the last person mentioned is given the
possessive form.
Jackson and Myers law firm (they share
the same law firm)
Becky and Jennys friend (they share the
same friend)
Pete and Kens iPod. (they share the
same iPod)
Mrs. McIntyre and Mrs. Gerardys
classroom (they share the same
classroom)

If the names of two or more persons are
used to show separate ownership, EACH
name is given the possessive form.
Timberlakes and Swifts songs (they have
their OWN songs)
McIntyres and Gerardys classrooms (they
have their own classrooms)
Emilys and Kelsies books (they have their
own books)

Practice
The songs separately owned by Amy and
Joe
The desk of Dean and Kevin
The cell phones separately owned by
Donna and Dave
The computers separately owned by Sean
and Julie
The mail of Dylan and Holly
The separate grades of John and Brooke

Amys and Joes songs
Dean and Kevins desk
Donnas and Daves cell phones
Seans and Julies computers
Dylan and Hollys mail
Johns and Brookes grades

Only the last part of a hyphenated
noun shows possession
Mother-in-laws book
Editor-in-chiefs position
An apostrophe is used to show the plurals of
letters, word, numbers, and signs used as
words.
Dont confuse the 7s and 8s
There are two ts in my name

An apostrophe indicates that a number or
letter has been omitted (taken out)
It is = its
1965 = 65
Does not = doesnt
We will = well
It will = itll
That is = thats

Use an apostrophe and s to form the
possessive of indefinite pronouns.
Someones purse
Anothers eyes
Nobodys business

Note: DO NOT use an apostrophe to form
the possessive of personal pronouns:
Theirs, yours, hers, ours, its
Practice
1. The shoe of someone
2. All the students got Cs on the test.
3. The license of the sister-in-law
4. She wasnt born until 75.
5. That is what shell do to survive.
6. The clothes of another
7. Whatve we done?

1. Someones shoe
2. All the students got Cs on the test.
3. The sister-in-laws license
4. She wasnt born until 75.
5. That is what shell do to survive.
6. Anothers clothes
7. Whatve we done?

Tips for checking if something is
possessive
Another way to think about this rule is to see
whether the word of expresses what you're
trying to say. With the of method, you note

The children's mother phoned = the mother of the children phoned.
the sharp tooth of the crocodile = the crocodile's sharp tooth
the peanut-stained tooth of the elephant = the elephant's peanut-
stained tooth
This is Marmaduke's house = it is the house of Marmaduke.

Sometimes, no clear owner seems present in the phrase. Such a situation arises
mostly when you're talking about time. If you can insert of into the sentence, you
may need an apostrophe. To give you an idea of how to run the "of test," here
are some phrases that express time:
These examples are showing time and amount as adjectives to describe how long
or how much. If that is happening, you need to use an apostrophe.

Three months' work = the work of three months. (how much work?
Three months is being used as an adjective to describe how much)
one week's tooth cleaning = one week of tooth cleaning
a year's dental care = one year of dental care

Does not work:
She was 6 months old = six months of old does not work