Apostrophes: It is Simple When You Know How

If solely we did not must hassle with apostrophes, writing could be a lot simpler, some would say. For me, it might take all of the enjoyment out of writing as a result of I personally love the problem of utilizing apostrophes to make sense of what I am making an attempt to convey to the reader.

I used to be shocked to obtain an e-mail the opposite day from a mom whose daughter’s English homework had been incorrectly ‘corrected’ by her faculty instructor. The mom wrote to me for affirmation that what her daughter had written was, the truth is, right. The daughter had written, “the canine gave its proprietor the ball” however the instructor had corrected it to, “the canine gave it is proprietor the ball”. What the instructor’s sentence is saying is: “the canine gave it’s proprietor the ball”, which is clearly nonsense. The one time you need to insert an apostrophe into the phrase “its” is when it’s brief for “it’s” or “it has”. Fairly frankly I used to be appalled {that a} instructor of English had made such a mistake. The daughter’s model, “the canine gave its proprietor the ball” is right as a result of the phrase “its” (with out an apostrophe) is the equal of “his, her, our, my, your, their” – “its” is the model meaning belonging to, or related to, a factor or particular person/animal of indeterminate gender.

Anybody, even a instructor of English, may very well be forgiven for making a mistake as a one-off, however apparently this wasn’t the one correction he had made. The daughter had additionally written, “purchase your cucumbers and lettuces right here”, which the instructor had corrected to, “purchase your cucumber’s and lettuce’s right here”. The instructor had inserted apostrophes into what are easy plural nouns ie, “cucumbers and lettuces”, which the daughter had written appropriately. Plurals mustn’t have apostrophes. Inserting an apostrophe into phrases comparable to “tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers and lettuces” is understood, albeit maybe disrespectfully, because the Greengrocer’s Apostrophe. I think we have all seen “tomatoe’s and potatoe’s” outdoors a Greengrocer’s store.

There may be, admittedly, one exception to this rule which is when you’re writing as an illustration, “Thoughts your p’s and q’s”. In the event you had been to put in writing, “Thoughts your Ps and Qs”, you wouldn’t must insert apostrophes – they’re solely needed within the earlier model to make clear the which means as a result of with out them it might learn, “Thoughts your ps and qs”, which might be complicated for the reader.

I have to say that, once I learn this mom’s e-mail, it made me worry for our youngsters’s training, however fortunately there are these on the market who’re prepared to query the so-called specialists.

For heaps extra assistance on apostrophe guidelines and tips on how to use apostrophes appropriately, click on right here – Apostrophes.