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When to Use Apostrophes in English (Video)

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Do you know when and how to use apostrophes in English? Mastering English grammar rules can improve your performance in the TOEFL, IELTS and even the GMAT and GRE exams.


This animated TED-Ed video will show you how to use them correctly.

Sometimes it is tricky when it comes to the usage of the apostrophe. In order to make it clear we can say that the apostrophe can be used in three ways:

  • to mark possession
  • to mark contraction
  • to mark the plural of single letters

Most of the time if you see an apostrophe hovering helpfully near a word it is most probably trying to mark possession or contraction. First, let us look at how the apostrophe is trying to mark possession. The placement of this punctuation mark really changes the meaning of the sentence. When showing possession the apostrophe belongs next to the noun that owns or possesses something. The noun can be singular or plural.

The use of apostrophe “s” after a proper noun ending in “s” is a style issue not a grammatical rule. The important thing is to pick one style and stick with it throughout a piece of writing.

Certain pronouns already have possession build in, like “his”, “hers”, “mine” or “theirs”. These pronouns do not need an apostrophe. Remember that to help you avoid one of the trickiest snags in English grammar – “its” versus “it’s”. “Its” only needs an apostrophe when it is a contraction for “it is” or “it has”. If you can replace “it’s” with one of those phrases then use the apostrophe. If you are showing possession then leave it out.

Even contractions are sometimes tricky when it comes to their usage in most cases they are pretty straightforward.

Check out: English Grammar: “Me”, “Myself” and “I” (Video) 

Enjoy watching the video and do not forget to comment afterwards! Good luck with English grammar learning!

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