Most apostrophes show possession. Do not confuse making something possessive with making it plural. Rules for plurals to make a word not ending in s plural, add “s” to make a word ending in s plural, add “es”
If the word is singular add an ‘s at the end. Those are Alex’s toys. Don’t take the kid’s bike.
You even add an ‘s if the person’s name ends in an s.* There is Chris’s house. That is Mr. Andrus’s classroom That is my brother’s room (one brother) * Unless you are Jesus, Zeus, or Moses Apparently these people are important enough to only add an apostrophe Jesus’ teaching Zeus’ powers Moses’ people
If the word is plural and doesn’t end in s, add an apostrophe and an s. (just like rule 1) This is the children’s toy car She is in the women’s restroom. The men’s locker room stinks.
If the word is plural and ends in an s, only add the apostrophe AFTER the final s. That is the kids’ toy car That is my brothers’ room (multiple brothers)
Use an apostrophe to indicate contractions (omissions of letters) It’s raining outside. ▪ It is raining outside. We’re going to have a party. ▪ We are going to have party. Didn’t he know it was time to start? ▪ Did not he know it was time to start? That’ll be hard to do. ▪ That will be hard to do.
Trying to use apostrophes for possessive pronouns. The car with the flat tire is our’s. (incorrect) The car with the flat tire is ours. Is that dog your’s? (incorrect) Is that dog yours?
Compound subjects (joint possession) Tuesday is Tom and Jane’s anniversary. Rodger, Ed, and Tommy’s plan is the best. Compound subjects (individual possession) Rodger’s, Ed’s, and Tommy’s cars were stolen. Tom’s and Sally’s clothes were ruined.
Make the noun plural first* Box – BoxesGoose—Geese Bush – BushesChild—Children Jones – JonesesSheep—Sheep Then make it possessive based on the rules Boxes – Boxes’Geese—Geese’s Bushes – Bushes’Children—Children’s Joneses – Joneses’Sheep—Sheep’s
The party is at Mr. Jones’s house. (singular) The party is at the Joneses’ house. (plural) Jose Sanchez’s mom got mad. Is that the Sanchezes’ car?
Apostrophes Do not use an apostrophe to form the plural of Letters Abbreviations Numbers Words mentioned as words
Italicize the letter and use regular font style for the –s ending. Two large Js were printed on the door Do NOT italicize academic grades. He received two Ds for the first time in his life. To avoid misreading, use an apostrophe to form the plural of lowercase letters and the capital letters A and I. Beginning readers often confuse b’s and d’s.
MLA NOTE: The Modern Language Association recommends using an apostrophe for the plural of both capital and lowercase letters. J’s and p’s
Do not use an apostrophe to pluralize an abbreviation Harriet has thirty DVDs on her desk. Marco earned two PhDs before his thirtieth birthday.
Generally, omit the apostrophe to form the plural of words mentioned as words. If the word is italicized, the –s ending appears in regular type. We’ve heard enough maybes. Words mentioned as words may also appear in quotation marks. When you choose this option, use the apostrophe. We’ve heard enough “maybe’s.”