Punctuation 04 - Apostrophes and Quotes
We have learnt that punctuation plays a very important role in enabling a writer to communicate exactly what he wants to say. We know that there are several punctuation marks that are used, some of which more frequently than others.
The full-stop (or period), exclamation mark, question mark, comma, semi colon and colon are among the more frequently used punctuation marks. Two other punctuations marks that are regularly used are quotation marks and apostrophes.
Quotation marks are also known as inverted commas, or simply quotes, and they are punctuation marks used to single out a word or phrase.
Quotation marks are used to identify a name or a title.
They are used to quote somebody verbatim in order to let the reader know what exactly was said by the person quoted.
When we want to borrow some lines from someone else’s writing we put them inside inverted commas.
Quotation marks are something all of us are familiar with as we read a newspaper, a novel or a play.
The apostrophe is another punctuation mark that is very useful for good writing. All of us are exposed to the apostrophe as we have come across words such as CAN’T, DON’T, SHOULDN’T or GAURAV’S WATCH or BOYS’ NIGHT OUT in our daily lives. We also see it in IT’S.
Broadly, an apostrophe is used for showing possession and also, ironically, for omission. In the case of possession the apostrophe - represented by the symbol (‘) - is used after the last letter of the word followed by an S. For example, MY FRIEND’S CAR means a car belonging to my friend.
Since an S is added after the apostrophe mark, a problem arises as to what to do for plurals that end with an S or for the name of a place or a person or a thing that ends in an S. In some cases where the singular ends with an S we may use ‘S or just the (‘). In the case of plurals which end in S, we just use the apostrophe mark after the S, just as in the example shown earlier.
Quotation marks and apostrophes are very interesting punctuation marks and you can test your knowledge of them by taking the quiz that follows.