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Apostrophes Showing Possession

An apostrophe is normally used with the letter s to show ownership or possession. With most singular nouns, simply add an apostrophe plus the letter s to do this. An apostrophe plus s is never added to make a noun plural–even a proper noun. Incorrect: This is Joans jacket. (Possessive form needs the apostrophe) Correct:

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Plural Possessives

To make most nouns plural, add an -s or -es. The -es is added to words that end in an s or z sound. Do not use an apostrophe. Examples: lands dresses taxes quizzes Incorrect: Twenty dog’s were in the pack. Correct: Twenty dogs were in the pack. To make a plural noun possessive, simply

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Possessives with More than One Owner

To show that more than one person share the same item together, make only the last owner in the series possessive. Examples: Ken and Larry’s ice cream (They share the same ice cream.) John and Mary’s pet cats (They share the same cats.) To show that there are similar items which are owned individually by

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Apostrophes with Underlined or Italicized Items

Letters, numbers, symbols, and words used as themselves are italicized or underlined. See Underlining or Italicizing Items that Name Themselves for more on this. When these items are made plural, the plural is shown by adding apostrophe s to the underlined or italicized item. The apostrophe and s are not italicized or underlined. Some authorities

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Apostrophes with Verb Contractions

Apostrophes generally show missing letters in contractions. In most formal writing such contractions should be avoided. The most common contractions involve verbs in five situations. 1. Verbs with not contracted, or shortened. Examples: aren’t don’t isn’t wasn’t can’t weren’t weren’t wouldn’t doesn’t hasn’t haven’t couldn’t Note: The word won’t is a contraction of will not–in

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