Apostrophes have two functions. They can show ownership or they can show that words have been joined together or letters missed out.

Here's the laymans' guide to using possessive apostrophes.

The possessive apostrophe

When we want to talk about something owned or posessed by someone we use an apostrophe before the S.

Example: If we want to talk about a balloon owned by a boy we say:

The boy's balloon

 

If we want to talk about something owned by more than one person we put the apostrophe after the S

Example: If we want to talk about a football owned by two brothers we might say:

The boys' football

When names end with the letter 's', you can put the apostrophe in one of two places.

James' fish tankor James's fish tank

The apostrophe is never used with possessive pronouns like: his, hers, its, ours, yours or theirs:

You would never write Hi's ball

 

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