Ever feel like you are a one person Grammar Police squad? I do, and when that feeling strikes, I use Grammarly for online proofreading because it provides the backup I need.
Apostrophes, for example, can be problematic. Using them for contractions is a given, but there are those tricky spots we run into and wonder...do I use an apostrophe....or not? Here's a peek at the cheat sheet I use:
Use an apostrophe:
- To form a plural of a letter: I got all A's and B's.
- To form a plural of a number or symbol: 6's or %'s
- When a word is discussed as a word: The sentence contains too many hey's and dude's.
- To abbreviate a year: She graduated in '03.
Special possessive situations must be handled with care. Remember that the owner is the word immediately before the apostrophe. It helps to ask, is it possessive or plural, or is it possessive and singular, or possessive and plural?
Use the apostrophe like so:
- Singular versus plural possession: the horse's trainer, the horses' trainer
- Compound word possessives: editor in chief's office, sister in law's birthday
- Plural compound word possessives: brothers in law's cars (more than one brother in law)
- For an indefinite pronoun: anyone's guess, everybody's favorite
- Individual possession: Micah's, Allie's, and Nat's books (they each own their own book)
- Shared possession: Tim, David, and Becky's book (they all own the same book)
And don't forget:
- Do not use an apostrophe for possessive pronouns: its, yours, ours, his, hers, their
Ever tried Grammarly or use a writing guide to get you out of an apostrophe jam? What helps keep your writing in check?
I'm taking a break and will be back on January 2. Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season! :)
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