Wednesday, August 26, 2009
For today’s lesson, I’d like to point out an error that I see frequently: using an apostrophe to make a plural* word. This is what I mean:
This site has some great giveaway’s!
She looked like a rock star from the 1980’s.
Parent’s need to be informed.
In most cases, an “apostrophe s” is used to show ownership, as in…
Her daughter’s coat was missing.
…or as a contraction.
There’s a man at the door.
However, apostrophes are not necessary when you are pluralizing a word, such as “giveaways” or “parents” in the examples above.
Decades and centuries are very commonly written incorrectly. They should look like this:
1980s NOT 1980’s
1920s NOT 1920’s
1800s NOT 1800’s
Correct: Many wars were waged in the 1800s.
Incorrect: Many people were unemployed in the 1930’s.
Is there any ownership going on (daughter’s coat)? If yes, use the apostrophe.
Am I using a contraction (there’s)? If yes, use the apostrophe.
Am I using the plural form of a word (giveaways)? If yes, skip the apostrophe.
*plural = more than one of something