Thursday, August 11, 2016
The Proper Way to Use Apostrophe
One of the most common punctuations to be used and misused is the apostrophe. Although it’s easy enough to use for contractions, there are several variations when it comes to its usage for possession. Let’s try to see some examples.
Peter’s favorite food is hamburger.
Precious’ room is as organized as it can be.
Precious’s room is as organized as it can be.
As seen in the examples above, apostrophe could simply be used to show possession. However, if the noun preceding the apostrophe ends with s, you could or could not add another s after the apostrophe (personally, I stick with just an apostrophe so it would not be read with two s but it’s good either way as long as you’re consistent with your grammar).
The one in the other street is Parker’s house.
The one in the other street is Parkers’ house.
Statements written above were not the same. The owner of the house in the former statement is Parker while the owner in the latter is Parkers. Always place your apostrophe after the complete name of the proper noun or else it might cause some confusion in the part of the reader.
Pan and Parker’s cellphones are both brand new.
Pan’s and Parker’s cellphones are both brand new.
Usage of apostrophe in singular nouns are easy but when there are two subjects it becomes a bit tricky. First of all, the statements above are not the same. The first statement shows that the cellphones are owned both by Pan and Parker. But on the second statement, it says that the cellphone of Pan and the cellphone of Parker, which are theirs individually, are both brand new.
It is easy enough to interchange the usage of apostrophe in the case above but we should be careful on how to apply this punctuation because it can give a different meaning. Just always remember that if the sentences become ambiguous, you could always change it in order to strengthen your point. Yes, there are other ways of stating possession and using apostrophes are just one of those so try to familiarize yourself with these variations so could easily write and relay your message to your readers.
Don’t use that door. It’s broken.
You shouldn’t use that door since its handle is broken.
As for contractions, apostrophe could be used as seen above to simplify the following words: do not (don’t), should not (shouldn’t), and it is (it’s). However, you should be careful since it’s is not the same as its. The former is a contraction while the latter is a possessive adjective (in this example, its describe that the door’s handle is broken).
There are still some rules and variations to completely master the usage of apostrophe. And mastery always come with practice. So always throw an apostrophe here and there and, sooner or later, you’d be able to use it with ease.