Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grammar Lesson - Apostrophe

* What is the purpose of the apostrophe?
     - To show possession/ownership
* What is the biggest mistake made?
     - Using the apostrophe with plurals
          ex.  The boys are going to sleep. = correct
          ex.  The boy's are going to sleep. = incorrect
In possessives, the placement of the apostrophe depends on whether the noun that shows possession is singular or plural.

Basic Use - Singular:
   The boy's cat is sick.
The boy owns the cat, therefore boy's has an apostrophe s.
* alternative:  of / of the
  The cat of the boy is sick.

* Exception:  When talking about anything living, use the apostrophe or of the/of, but when talking about inanimate/nonliving things, only use of the.
ex.  The back of the chair.  NOT:  The chair's back.

* Do not use double apostrophe.
ex.  The boy's father's cat was hungry.
Instead, use:
The father of the boy's cat was hungry.

When name ends in s, 99 percent of the time use apostrophe s.
If the person is an iconic figure, use s apostrophe.
(Know 5 iconic figures for the test) ex.  Zeus', Sophocles', Jesus', Moses', Confucius', Odysseus', Archimedes'

When making most singular words plural, we add s, or es.  For these words, just add an apostrophe.
ex) boy's --> boys'
      girl's --> girls'

Sometimes, the actual word changes from singular to plural.  Know 5 of these:
Singular   Plural
man's        men's
woman's   women's
person's    people's
child's       children's
mouse's     mice's

* Use the apostrophe and s after the second name only if two people possess the same item.  If there is separate ownership, each name gets an apostrophe s.
ex.  Micah and Taitu's house is made of brick.  The same house is owned by both Taitu and Micah.
ex. 2.  Anatola's and Josephine's dogs play in the park.  Each person has their own dog (they do not share ownership of the same dog).

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