The RIA's Simple Guide To Apostrophes

Tuesday, June 08, 2010 01:36
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The RIA's Simple Guide To Apostrophes

Are you tired of correcting employees’ misuse of apostrophes?  Here’s a quick guide that may help!

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1.         An apostrophe is most commonly used as a possessive for one person or

            thing.  In this case, add ‘s whether or not the word ends in s

Sheryl’s project

The copy machine’s problems

The business’s customers 

2.         For the possessive of more than one person or thing not ending in s, add ‘s. 

                        Children’s education

                        The media’s attention 

3.         For the possessive of more than one person or thing ending in s, add ‘ only: 

                        Workers’ income

                        Employees’ bonus trip 

4.         For compound words, add ‘s only to the last word: 

                        The brother-in-law’s business

                        Somebody else’s fault 

5.         The apostrophe is also used for contractions.  A contraction is an abbreviation for  two words, as follows: 

                        It’s a girl.  (It is a girl.)

                        You’re wonderful.  (You are wonderful.) 

6.         The apostrophe is also used for plurals or letters or numbers only if it doesn’t make  sense without it: 

                        CPAs              

Do’s and don’ts

                        6’s 

7.         The word “it”:  “It’s” means “it is.”  “Its” means the possessive of “it.”  For

            example: 

                        Its toes

                        It’s happening

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