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Apostrophes - Glossary of Terms


Apostrophes

Apostrophes (') are used to replace missing letters, to create the possessive forms of nouns and to create temporal expressions (e.g. 2 years' tax). Exercised with care, they can also be used for the plural forms of abbreviations, letters and numbers.

Examples:

cannot > can't (replacing missing letters)
Alan's car (possessive form of the noun "Alan")
a minute's silence (temporal expression)
SOS's, 7's, A's (plural of SOS, 7 and A)
 
The apostrophe causes more grammar errors than any other punctuation mark.  This is because the rules governing the use of apostrophes are quite complex.
Associated pages:
 
The apostrophe error with plurals
Apostrophes in time (temporal) expressions
Apostrophes replace letters
Apostrophes to show the plural of abbreviations
Apostrophes show possession
Glossary of grammatical terms
 
 

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