Apostrophes How and when to use them
What is an apostrophe? • It looks like a comma – ‘ – but we place it above the line of writing. • It takes up the space of a letter. • It is used for various reasons.
Why do we use them? • To show who owns what (possession) – This is Jane’s cat.
• To fill in for missing letters (contractions) – She’s gone to the cinema with her friends.
Contractions • When two words are joined together in a shorter form. • The apostrophe takes the place of the missing letter(s). – I am (I’m) – They are (They’re) – Do not (don’t)
Be careful! • Don’t confuse its and it’s – its (possessive – its edges were sharp) – it’s (it is, it has)
• Whose and who’s – Whose book is this? – Who’s coming to dinner.
Test Yourself • • • • • •
You are - ? Will not - ? I would - ? I had - ? We have - ? I shall not - ?
Test Yourself • Shes got her mothers good looks, hasnt she? • Its the princesss birthday today, isnt it? • The womens Keep Fit Class opens today.
Homework • Find some examples of the misuse of apostrophes:– many people put an apostrophe when they just need to add an ‘s’ to make a plural. – e.g. PC’s, 1940’s, CD’s
• You only use an apostrophe to show possession or that you have missed out some letters.