The Apostrophe

Here are useful rules for the apostrophe. Learn them well, and use them in your writing.

  • Use an apostrophe to form the possessive of singular and plural nouns.
    Add an apostrophe and an s to form the possessive of a singular noun.

    Joe + ’s = Joe’s car
    day + ’s = day’s effort
    flag + ’s = flag’s colors
    glass + ’s = glass’s cost

    Note: If a plural noun ends in s, just add an apostrophe.

    cars + ’ = cars’ interiors
    televisions + ’ = televisions’ locations

    Note: If a plural noun does not end in s, add ’s to the word.
    mice + ’s = mice’s home
    women + ’s = women’s department

    Note: If a name of two or more syllables ends in an eez sound, the possessive is formed
    without an additional s.

    the tales of Ulysses = Ulysses’ tales
    the speeches of Orestes = Orestes’ speeches

  • To make the possessive of a compound word or the name of a co-owned business or
    organization, add ’s to the last word of the name.

    brother-in-law’s shoes
    Jackson and Meyer’s law firm