Apostrophe Rules

Define apostrophe
  • A punctuation mark represented by: '
  • Used to indicate possession (belongs to) or a contraction
When to use an apostrophe
  • To shorten a word or group of words
    • examplesdon't, won't, shouldn't, & should've
  • Possessive noun NOT ending with "S"
    • add 's at the end of the word
    • example:  The dog's tail was long.
  • Possessive noun ending with "S"
    • only add ' at the end of the word
    • example 1Charles' book was very old.
    • example 2:  The singers' voices are loud.
When not to use an apostrophe
  • Don't use if not a possessive noun
    • example 1:  The dogs are pretty.
    • example 2Charles is a nice guy.
    • example 3:  The singers like to sing.
Its or It's
  • Something that belongs to it
    • no apostrophe
    • exampleIts leg got stuck in the door.
  • Stands for "it is"
    • add: 's
    • exampleIt's getting hot in here..

Cite This Source

Fun Fact
Pennsylvania and Louisiana are the only states with 5 syllables.


  • The cat's fur was grey.
  • Cats' calws are very sharp.
  • Cats like to meow.
  • John's shirt was blue.
  • This is Charles' car.
  • Chales likes to read.
  • Don't mess with me!
  • She can't sleep at night.
  • He didn't want to read.
  • It's going to be a great day.
  • Its tail was long.
  • It's the right decision.
Bibliography Citations
MLA   |    APA   |   Chicago Manual Style