COMMON GRAMMATICAL MISTAKES #1: MISPLACED APOSTROPHES
- Apostrophes indicate possession – something belonging to something or someone. To indicate something belonging to one person, the apostrophe goes before the ‘s’.
Incorrect: Jennifers horse is over there.
Correct: Jennifer’s horse is over there.
- To indicate something belonging to more than one person, put the apostrophe after the ‘s’.
Incorrect: The boys uniforms are ready for them to collect.
Correct: The boys’ uniforms are ready for them to collect.
Incorrect: The postman delivered the parcel to the Ng’s flat.
Correct: The postman delivered the parcel to the Ngs’ flat.
- Apostrophes are never used to make a word plural, even when a word is in number form, as in a date.
Incorrect: We received a Chinese New Year card from the Lee’s.
Correct: We received a Chinese New Year card from the Lees.
Incorrect: My parents like to listen to music from the 1970’s.
Correct: My parents like to listen to music from the 1970s.
- Apostrophes are also used to indicate a contraction.
Contractions are two words made shorter by placing an apostrophe where letters have been omitted. For example, “let’s” uses an apostrophe to indicate that the word is missing the “u” from “us”.