An apostrophe is a punctuation mark used on many occasions in English. Its meaning is dependent on the context it is used in.

Apostrophe in English

What Is an Apostrophe?

An apostrophe is a punctuation mark (') used in many cases. It can have different meanings based on the context it has been used.

When Do We Use Apostrophe?

An apostrophe can be used in different cases such as:

Replacing Missing Letters

While making contracted forms we usually delete some letters. The letter can only be one letter or it can be more than one letter. In both ways, we use only one apostrophe in the place of missing letters. Here are a few examples:

This isn't my key.

In this example, the long form is 'is not' but we have contracted it by omitting the letter 'O' and replace it with an apostrophe to create 'isn't'

We can't find him anywhere.

In this example, apostrophe replaces two letters because we omitted 'no' and used an apostrophe instead.

In the '60s many great songs were released.

Here by '60 we mean 1960

Showing Possessive Nouns

When the owner of something is a noun we can usually use an apostrophe plus an s to show possession. Here are the examples:

Sarah's father has a limo.

The manager's reports were on the table.

If there is a plural or a singular noun ending in -s or -es at the end of a noun you should use only an apostrophe to show the possession or owner of a thing. Here are the examples:

The schools' policies are getting established.

All brides' wishes are to be healthy and happy for the rest of their lives.

Showing Possession

Sometimes there is a need to use plural numbers, letters, interjections, abbreviations, or conjunctions; however, they are not used with the same intention. In this case, we use an apostrophe. Here are a few examples:

There are too many and's in your text.

There were lots of M's in his name.

When Not to Use an Apostrophe

Remember not to use 's when you are using possessive pronouns.

❌It was her's car.

❌This is his'es toy


Use 's for irregular plural possessive nouns. Such as:

Their feet's toes were cold.

It's or Its

It's is the contracted form for it is because it has an apostrophe but its is a possessive determiner. Here are the examples:

It's not important what you think of me.

Its tail is curved and brown.


Mostly, we use the punctuation (') (also known as apostrophe) in three major situations:

  • to show possession
  • to show contraction
  • to use unusual plural letters, numbers, etc.


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