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Proper Use of an Apostrophe

People love to put an apostrophe to show ownership or possession, but make sure you are using it correctly. This is a guide about proper use of an apostrophe.


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By 2 found this helpful
February 27, 2017

There is much confusion about the proper use of the apostrophe. There is even a movement to get rid of it in some countries. The apostrophe is correctly used to show possession, as part of a contraction to replace missing letters, and to pluralize in odd cases such as pluralizing a lower case letter. An example of this pluralization would be, p's rather than ps, use here seems to be more for clarity. It is not used to create plurals of nouns, nor to indicate a decade such as the 1960s (inaccurate version 1960's).

Here are some examples of common misuse and the correct usage:

  • pluralization - dog's (incorrect) dogs (correct)
  • possession - to indicate the toy of an individual dog use - my dog's toy OR for multiple dogs toys - use my dogs' toys (for words ending in "s" to show possession add the apostrophe AFTER the "s".

There are many more examples of confusion when using this punctuation mark. Hopefully the examples here will help clear up some of the common errors.

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March 23, 20180 found this helpful

Some parts of English grammar can be very confusing. One common example is the difference between "it's" a contraction of "it is" and "its" a possessive pronoun.


This guide contains a grammar tip: "it's" vs "its".

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
October 27, 2009

How do we write the invite, parents 50th or parents' 50th?

By nancy


October 27, 20090 found this helpful

That'd be "parents' 50th." The "s" makes it plural, the apostrophe after the "s" shows ownership. And hey -- I hope the celebration is wonderful! My parents are up to 41 years. :-)

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October 29, 20090 found this helpful

Yes, parents' is correct! Have a great celebration! What wonderful role models they are for all of us!

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October 29, 20090 found this helpful

Since you are talking about both parents; parents' is correct.

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October 29, 20090 found this helpful

If in doubt, you could reword it saying, "the 50th Wedding Anniversary of our parents." It really irks me when people put the apostrophe in the wrong place or overuse it.

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