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Questions tagged [apostrophe]

This tag is for questions about the usage of the apostrophe.

37
votes
5answers
9k views

What does `'s` mean in “What CPU's will it run on?”?

Does it indicate a possessive adjective or just a plural noun? If noun, why it is not CPUs (without apostrophe)?
21
votes
6answers
158k views

When a word ends in 's' or 'x', do you add 's or just an '?

1) Alex's house 2) Alex' house When the noun ends with the letter 's' or 'x', do I need to put 's' after an apostrophe or not? I remember I read some rules related to this in my school ...
19
votes
4answers
48k views

Plural form of “brother-in-law” when a possessive case is involved

1) My brother's friend's opinions 2) My brothers' friend's opinions I hope "1" and "2" are pretty clear and correct. Now, let us suppose that the brother in "1" is a brother-in-law and that all ...
15
votes
4answers
9k views

“She is at the dentist's now”

Why must we add an 's? Why "she is at the dentist's now" instead of "at the dentist"?
15
votes
5answers
43k views

Do decades ever get apostrophes?

In researching whether to write 1960s or 1960's, I have found several sources stating that 1960s is correct: one, two, three. On the other hand, this source states that: In British usage, we do ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Something a 'stone's throw away' from something - what's an apostrophe and an article doing there?

Mike's house is just a stone's throw away from mine. This means Mike is living next door. Stone's throw away is an idiom to say something is quite near or at a very short distance. I understand ...
12
votes
1answer
80k views

How do I spell the possessive form of children?

In the sentence below, are the usages of apostrophes correct? In research about parent stereotypes, the correlation between parents’ beliefs about their early elementary age children’s’ mathematics ...
10
votes
7answers
5k views

“A patients guide” or “A patient's guide”?

I am working on one of my employer's websites, and we have a video guide up for patients of how a particular procedure works. The guide was previously titled "A patients guide to [X]", but I have ...
9
votes
2answers
743 views

Possessive of a possessive

Apostrophe or apostrophe + s is used to show possession; e.g. StackExchange's English Language Learners or Webmasters' favorite, just to name a few examples. But what if a proper noun ends in ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

When can't we shorten It is to It's

I have noticed that in some cases people write it is while in others it's. And in some cases you just cannot write it's. Is that your book over there? Maybe it is. It's a beautiful flower. Yes, it is,...
6
votes
2answers
584 views

“Maiden's of Telford” on the side of a truck: is the apostrophe an error?

"Maiden's of Telford"- is this grammatically correct? I don't think it is as it appears on the side of the company's trucks. But I would be quite happy to be incorrect!
6
votes
3answers
619 views

Possessive apostrophe use

Is it correct not to use a possessive apostrophe in 1990s icon? I've just read an article where it was omitted. I understand that you don't put an apostrophe in decades/dates when you're saying ...
5
votes
1answer
656 views

When is “'s” needed after a possessive “of”? [duplicate]

From a dictionary and a usage guide, I learnt that these phrases are OK: the home of a schoolteacher the sister of the Duke of Urbino a friend of my mother's a cousin of Lorna Cook'...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

How many apostrophes are allowed in a sentence?

I can think of this sentence - (Don't touch that) That is my brother's company's CEO's son's dog's toy. - I can still come up with many more apostrophes! ;) Is there any rule that talks about the ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

“arm[']s['][-]length negotiations”

Which one of the following versions is correct? arms-length negotiations; arm's-length negotiations; arms'-length negotiations; arms length negotiations; arm's length negotiations; arms' length ...
4
votes
4answers
47k views

“24 hours' notice” or “24 hours notice”?

Which one is correct? 1: Well, you canceled on Tuesday and our policy is 24 hours' notice for all cancellations. 2: Well, you canceled on Tuesday and our policy is 24 hours notice for all ...
4
votes
1answer
198 views

Why is the apostrophe put before Atta boy?

"Little tyke wants his money's worth, just like his father. 'Atta boy, Dudley!" He ruffled Dudley's hair. (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) Why is the apostrophe put before Atta boy?
4
votes
2answers
654 views

Genitive s for objects [duplicate]

If you say the aim of Ben, you can also say Ben's aim. If you say the objective of the project (which is not a person but an object), do you say the project's objective or the projects objective?
4
votes
1answer
149 views

Whether to use an apostrophe after 'Games'

Should the following sentence have an apostrophe after 'Games'? I feel like it should as it's referring to plural 'games'. More tickets were applied for than at all previous Paralympic Games ...
4
votes
1answer
565 views

Can a possessive S be attached to nouns that are not human beings (or animals)?

Can a possessive S be attached to nouns that are not human beings (or animals)? For example, instead of saying "the back of the chair", can I say "the chair's back"? I remember learning that not ...
4
votes
1answer
924 views

Apostrophe S help or explain

If 's shows possession then wouldn't it be used in the following sentences? I want to buy a car's door. You have broken my computer's screen.
4
votes
1answer
311 views

Using “I's” rather than “mine”

In a sentence, if I want to say "the items of my family and I ", can I say it in this way: my family and I's items or is the correct replacement "mine". Can an explanation to why "I's" is correct or ...
3
votes
1answer
459 views

Sister's vs. Sisters'

Question regarding the use of apostrophe/ownership in the case of twins. Noun: The Night Sisters (who constitute a twin object). Sentence: Mary tended John throughout the Night Sisters passing. ...
3
votes
2answers
253 views

why don't we use “-'s” for some nouns that belong to other nouns?

I was wondering why we do not use 's for some nouns that belong to other nouns? For example: book cover or book's cover and house's door or house door Which one is right ?
3
votes
3answers
698 views

Apostrophes in Time Expressions

Are these expressions syntactically correct and semantically equivalent? What is general rules for "number-time noun" and "number time' noun" from semantic point of view? "a day's work" vs "one-day ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

Possessive apostrophe s and definite article

I wrote: The value can be a constant value (numbers or strings), a node’s attribute prefixed with @ symbol... by a node's attribute I mean an attribute of the node. Did it mean what I expect? How ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

Why is there an apostrophe after years

I'm reading an wikipedia article: (...) was sentenced to five years' probation and one year in the House of Correction (...) Why five years' has an apostrophe? What does that sentence mean?
3
votes
1answer
455 views

How to pronounce “two boys' families”?

How to pronounce "two boys' families"? "two boyses family" or "two boys families"?
3
votes
1answer
140 views

Is a possessive apostrophe required after minutes in “After a few minutes' use…”?

Wondering if a possessive apostrophe is correct after 'minutes' in the sentence: "After a few minutes' use, the hairdryer stopped working."? I know it's correct to have one in the sentence "In a few ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Apostrophe Usage Around Words?

"The Canadian smiled at his opponent as they went to their corners. It was not a smile that said, ‘I got this now.’" In ‘I got this now.’, what seems a grammatical reason for this (apostrophes)? Why, ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“This gift's for you” to mean “This gift is for you”

Is it grammatically correct to write: This gift's for you meaning "This gift is for you"? Some say that I can't use 's in this way after a noun. After a noun it would be considered as ...
3
votes
2answers
705 views

“Forecastle/fo'c's'le/fo'c'sle” - number of apostrophes and do you have to contract with speech?

The question is about those two spellings for fo'c's'le / fo'c'sle (that is with two or three apostrophes) to identify missing parts for the word forecastle: (M-W. (2 only), AmDotEL (3 only), Collins ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Can 's express plural?

There's a sentence in my textbook: My sister got A's in her final exam. Shouldn't be As instead in this case? Can 's also be a kind of stylish for the plural?
2
votes
2answers
72 views

Is it supposed to be Johns game or John's game?

I am confused between these two and wanted to know which sentence to use: 1)I was working as a developer on Johns game. 2)I was working as a developer on John's game. From the little research ...
2
votes
1answer
451 views

How does the possessive apostrophe work in “it's”?

I am under the impression that we use the apostrophe to describe ownership. Someone would say "This is Jennifer's coat" to mean that the coat belongs to her, as opposed to, for instance, "Jennifers ...
2
votes
1answer
174 views

I'm going to the dry cleaner's - why the apostrophe S? [duplicate]

"Dave's car" means the "car of Dave". But why do we need the apostrophe S in: I'm going to the dry cleaner's ? Is there another way to say this phrase? For example: I'm going to the establishment ...
2
votes
2answers
589 views

Singular possessive, plural possessive or neither

For example suppose we record the actions (clicks) a user performs during the use of software. What "the order of actions" is called and what is the meaning of the following choices? action order (...
2
votes
2answers
55 views

A Case of Apostrophe

I was reading this short article on "A Tour of Edinburgh" when I came to "The Royal Mile" and "John Knox's House". As the article had not offered very much details about those places, I decided to ...
2
votes
2answers
363 views

Apostrophe for possession in decades?

Do you use an apostrophe for possession in decades--not for plurals, just possession, as in "a 1960s style," that is, "a style of the 1960s"?
2
votes
3answers
44 views

Parenthesis with apostrophe, how to order and how to space?

I have a very simple phrase: I want to introduce Adam's kid I want to insert a pair of parentheses for Agda, say, should be like this: I want to introduce Adam (my friend)'s kid But I'm not ...
2
votes
1answer
169 views

Apostrophe placement

Is the apostrophe placement in the next sentence correct? "The girl's basketball team won the championship." Is this correct since the team is acting as one unit?
2
votes
3answers
925 views

The body's cells or The body cells?

I'm not native English speaker and I'm confused about the two following options: Should I use the possessive apostrophe or not? Option no.1: They help in carrying oxygen to the body's cells. Option ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Where does the apostrophe go in “participant(s) ratings”?

Which of the following sentences is correct? I'm unsure regarding the participant(s). Figures showing the distribution of the participants' ratings on the math tasks. Figures showing the ...
2
votes
3answers
91 views

Use of '“s” only in possession? [duplicate]

I am writing a scientific paper and I wonder if 's is only used refering to a possession. For example, I think "bird's feathers" is a correct expression, but I wonder if "bird's exposure", meaning ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

The difference between “Chemistry students' group” and “Chemistry student's group”?

I'm not English native speaker, that's why I'd like to understand the following thing: What is the difference between "Chemistry students' group" and "Chemistry student's group"? What is the meaning ...
2
votes
2answers
190 views

a programmer's text editor (sing.), programmer's text editors (pl.) — a noun in the possessive case as an adjective?

Example: You see just because you can work in a plain text editor and it is useful from time to time, doesn't mean you have to and you probably won't want to. Because with a basic text editor you'...
2
votes
3answers
585 views

Should I use an apostrophe for the possessive of “robot”?

I would like to know the correct usage when referring to the personal experience that belongs to a robot, is it: Manifestation of robot's personal experience Manifestation of robot personal ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Apostrophe trouble

I am confused between two sentences: The World Cup 2015 comprises more than 25 one-days. OR The World Cup 2015 comprises more than 25 one-day's. Which sentence is correct? If both are correct,...
2
votes
1answer
374 views

Do I need to use apostrophe after this noun in the sentence?

Do I need to use apostrophe after organizations in the following long sentence? This sensitive situation has resulted in many organizations reviewing their business priorities as well as their ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

..eating a pig's head..why not “pig head”?

In my grammar book, the following is stated: 2.5 animals 1. Use ’s when referring to the parts of the body of a living animal. 2. Use ’s when referring to the products of living animals. 3. ...