An apostrophe means the difference between:
A business that knows its shit.
A business that knows it’s shit.
I’m assuming you, like us, want to be the first one. So, you better know your apostrophe rules. In writing press releases, emails, or any other documents, grammar is vital in getting what you want from your recipient. Unless you want him or her thinking you’re completely inept, we recommend stickign to these easy, helpful rules for using an apostrophe.
- CONTRACTIONS: Use apostrophes in contractions, placing it where the letters have been removed. Examples: You’re right! That’s bullshit.
- POSSESSION: Place an apostrophe before the s when showing possession. Examples: Mr. Arnold’s office, Jen’s yoga pants.
- 3. PLURAL POSSESSION: With plural possession, place the apostrophe after the s has been added to the noun. Examples: The Sanchezes’ booze, The girls’ dresses
- 4. NAMES: Never use an apostrophe in the plural version of a name. Example: We plan to visit the Sanchezes in late April.
- 5. MULTI OWNERSHIP: If more than one person possesses an item, apply the ‘s after the last name used. Examples: Beth’s and Victoria’s press releases will be distributed tomorrow. (Indicates separate ownership.) Beth and Victoria’s press releases will be distributed tomorrow. (Indicates joint ownership of more than one contract.)
- 6. POSSESSIVE NOUNS: Never use an apostrophe with possessive nouns. Examples: Sincerely yours (not your’s). This letter is hers.
- 7. ITS: The apostrophe is only used in its when it’s a contraction. Example: It’s used in the rule above! HA!
- 8. NUMBERS AND CAPITAL LETTERS: An apostrophe is not necessary in the plural forms of numbers and capital letters. Examples: The 1990s not 1990’s. She learned her times tables for 6s and 7s. She learned her ABCs. We consulted with a few M.D.s. With possession: We went to a few M.D.s’ offices.
- 9. GERUND: Use the possessive ‘s in front of gerunds, or words ending in ing. Example: Victoria’s dancing was a hot mess.
10. GERUND (2): When the pronoun is in front of a gerund, use its possessive form. Example: I appreciated his introducing me to new clients. (Some, however, may find this use of pronouns slightly awkward.)
Man this blog post is making us self-conscious about our apostrophe usage! What’s your biggest grammatical pet peeve? Tell us in the comments…