Apostrophes are hard-working little punctuation marks that can indicate a number of different things.
They are mainly used to show possession and in contractions. Let's take a look at how that works.
Apostrophes indicate when something belongs to someone. With singular nouns, you add -'s to show possession:
Adding the -'s shows that the bag belongs to Ann.
Here are a few more examples:
- That must be my dog's bone.
- Andy's plan will not succeed.
- Meg's favorite game is Settlers of Catan.
If you want to show that a plural noun has possession, then the apostrophe goes at the end of the word:
- The kids' books are in the library.
Contractions are two words that are joined together, often used to show a more casual or colloquial way of writing. Apostrophes take the place of the missing letters that occur when the two words are joined:
- do not = don't
- could not = couldn't
- will not = won't
- they are = they're
- should have = should've
Remember, the apostrophe takes the place of the missing letters and words.