Apostrophe To Show Possession: Rules and Usage

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Apostrophe To Show Possession

Apostrophe To Show Possession: In the world of English grammar, punctuation marks play a crucial role in conveying meaning accurately. Among them, the humble apostrophe holds a special place, especially when it comes to indicating possession. Mastering the apostrophe’s usage can elevate your writing from merely correct to polished and professional. Let us learn about the rules, usage, and examples of apostrophes to show possession.

Also Read: Colon Punctuation Examples with Uses in English Grammar

Apostrophe to Show Possession

The apostrophe is used to show the possession that you are having. It displays that you are the owner of the thing or have possession of it.  Apostrophes (‘) used with the letters at the end of a noun to indicate possession of or a close relationship to another noun are known as possessive apostrophes. If you were discussing your uncle’s house, for instance, you could indicate which noun is the owner by using a possessive apostrophe and a ‘s’ as punctuation.

An Apostrophe is a part of a word that shows contractions, deleted letters, and possessive cases. The errors in Apostrophes occur when you are confused between the plural and the possessive forms. They are used for forming the possessive form of the singular or the plural noun not closing in with ‘s’  but by adding ‘ and an s at the end.

If there is a plural noun that ends in s, only needs to be added.Graduation students’ are playing in the garden.
If possession of something is shared, use ‘s after the second personTom and Sam’s car.
If possession of something is unrelated, use ‘s after each person.Tom’s and Sam’s car.

Also Read: Direct Speech Punctuation: Learn Rules of Usage with Examples

Uses of Apostrophe to Show Possession

Before we dive into the technicalities of apostrophes, it is essential to understand what possession means in grammar. Possession denotes ownership or association between two entities. In English, possession can be expressed in various ways, but one common method is through the use of apostrophes.

Singular and Plural Nouns

Add “s” and an apostrophe for making a singular noun that is not going to end in “s” possessive.

For Example: The dog’s master loves his dog.

For making a plural noun that will not end with “s” possessive, add “s” and an apostrophe.

For Example: The men’s shop is closed for repairs. 

Nouns that end in ‘s’

The apostrophe and an “s” are added to form a singular noun that ends in “s” possessive.

For Example: John’s life inspired Luke’s famous poem, “The Alien.”

If a singular noun ends with an “s” and includes another “s” anywhere else in the noun, the apostrophe should be added to make the noun possessive.

For Example: Jesus’ birth in a stable shows the close connection between man

and nature.

Only add an apostrophe to make the plural noun that ends in “s” possessive.

The bird’s catcher loves his birds.

Compound Words 

Apostrophe and an “s” should be added to the last word only to make the compound words possessive. The same case exists for the group of words as well. 

For Example:

SingularThe principal of the school’s decision was final.
PluralHis brother’s children are very much naughty.

Joint and Separate Possession

Add an apostrophe and “s” after every possessive noun to make two nouns indicate separate possession. The apostrophe should be added to the second person’s name to make two nouns indicate a joint possession.

For Example: 

Separate PossessionTim’s and Jane’s cars are working well.
Join PossessionLogan’s and Mike’s guitar broke down last week.

Plural in Time and Money

Possession Rules are applied for singular and plural nouns to make the units of time and money plural.

For Example:

SingularAn hour’s work, the Euro’s value, a day’s salary
PluralTwo days’ salary, Two hours’ work, Five dollars’ value.

Plural Words

An apostrophe and “s” should be added to make the used words Plural.

For Example: Sandy completed the work with no and’s, if’s, or but’s

The apostrophes should not be used for making acronyms or numbers plural.

5 VIP’s5 VIPs

Indicating Omissions

The Apostrophe is used in the place of the letters that are omitted. It usually comes in place of the letters such as “o” and “n”.

Without ApostropheWith Apostrophe
He cannot find his notebookHe can’t find his notebook.
She is not working here.She isn’t working here.

Also Read: Punctuation for Class 2: Types, Examples, and Worksheets

Apostrophe To Show Possession: Examples

The Apostrophe is one of the commonly used symbols that are used in sentences. They are used to show omitted letters, make a plural number, and show possession. For a better understanding of Apostrophes let’s look at some of its examples.

Apostrophe To Show Possession
Source: Learn Easy English

Apostrophe To Show Possession: Worksheet

Read the following sentences and put the apostrophe wherever possible.

  1. Johns Ford EcoSport is his proudest possession.
  2. They believe in ones and twos while batting. 
  3. Theyre afraid of going to the dark.
  4. Little boys clothes are on the third floor.
  5. Didnt you know how to do it?


  1. John’s Ford EcoSport is his proudest possession.
  2. They believe in ones and twos while batting. 
  3. They’re afraid of going to the dark.
  4. The little boy’s clothes are on the third floor.
  5. Didn’t you know how to do it?


Why is the apostrophe used?

The apostrophe is used to show contractions, possessive cases, and omitted letters.

What is meant by “apostrophe to show possession”? 

An apostrophe is mainly used to indicate possession, where one noun will always come after another noun, usually the one it possesses.

How is an apostrophe used in compound words?

An apostrophe along with “s” is used to make the compound words possessive.

What is a contraction in an apostrophe?

The contractions are the short words from which some letters are omitted to include the apostrophe.

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This was all about the “Apostrophe To Show Possession: Rules and Usage” and more in grammar. Hope you understand the concept and know how to proceed. You can also follow the Learn English page of Leverage Edu for more exciting and informative blogs.

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