When to Use an Apostrophe

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An apostrophe can be used to show ownership, and it can be used in conjunction with contractions. Find out when to use apostrophes with plural subjects and verbs with help from a certified tutor in this free video on punctuation and the English language.

Part of the Video Series: English Punctuation & Grammar
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Video Transcript

When do you use an apostrophe? Should you use an apostrophe? Ah, to answer the difficult questions. Hi, I'm Paige Carrera. Welcome to happy writing. We're taking a look right now to see examples of when you should look, or when you should use an apostrophe, rather. It can be kind of tricky, but the simplest way to remember, is basically, when you want to show ownership, the cat's toy. That apostrophe goes just before the s. When you have a singular subject, and you want to show ownership, that's pretty much the easiest way to remember it. If you have a singular verb, in a sentence, the cat's toy, the easiest way to remember is just to add the apostrophe s. Now, if you have a plural verb, the kittens' toys are all over the living room. Then kittens, since it's a plural verb, the apostrophe would just be added on at the end of the subject, plural subject, which is kittens. Now also, you're going to use apostrophes in conjunction with contractions, and we all know contractions. Two words brought together like cannot, and the apostrophe would be in the word can't, c-a-n-'-t or do not, d-o-n-'-t, which is of course, don't. Don't fall into the trap, the its trap, because its is not a contraction, where you need to use an apostrophe, to show ownership. I-t-s can stand on its own. Happy writing. I'm Paige Carrera.


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