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How to Avoid an Apostrophe Atrocity

The little flying squiggle that manages to outwit auto correct. Otherwise known as the apostrophe. Certainly a boring subject matter, yet the meaning of a word, or even an entire sentence, can change with the apostrophe’s misuse. So let’s pretend we’re back in the third grade and do a quick recap.

An apostrophe IS needed: • When two words are combined to make a contraction. • When ownership is being demonstrated.

An apostrophe is NOT needed: • When a noun is plural but not possessive. • For possessive pronouns- its, whose, theirs, etc.

Rather than get caught up in nouns, pronouns, and contractions, here are some basic examples to follow:

Incorrect: The pizza’s are on sale from Monday though Friday. Correct: The pizzas are on sale Monday through Friday. (pizzas = plural noun)

Also Correct: The pizza’s crust is thin. (pizza’s = possessive)

Incorrect: The CD’s are broken.

Correct: The CDs are broken. (CDs = plural noun) Also Correct: The CD’s case is broken. (CD’s = possessive)

Incorrect: We had a great day with the Johnson’s. Correct: We had a great day with the Johnsons. (Johnsons = plural noun)

Also Correct: The Johnson’s dog is brown. (Johnson’s = possessive)

Incorrect: The groundhog saw it’s shadow. Correct: The groundhog saw its shadow.

Incorrect: Its cold outside. Correct: It’s (it + is = it’s)cold outside.




Eyes crossed yet? If so, POUR YOURSELF A GLASS OF WINE. It's almost the weekend!

Want to explore more advanced apostrophe usage? Plurals? Words ending in 's'? Irregular nouns? Contact us!

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