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Apostrophes (Because of Omission) 01
It's an apple. This is the correct use of an apostrophe - it's means the same as it is.

Apostrophes (Because of Omission) 01

Apostrophes because of omission are used when two words are contracted into one, for example: "it's" for "it is". The apostrophe here is termed the "apostrophe of omission" as it shows that i has been omitted.

Contractions are used in informal language and writing them down is a way of representing how people speak. The distinction between a contraction and the full form of the words can also be useful in capturing tone. Just imagine the emphasis in this sentence: "I cannot believe it". Compare that to "I can't believe it". The first sentence is more emphatic.

The most commonly contracted words in English usually involve the word "have" or the word "not", e.g.: "shouldn't", "wouldn't", "haven't", "didn't", "mustn't". With the word "not", the o is omitted and replaced with an apostrophe. With "have", the ha- is omitted and replaced with an apostrophe.

In English, apostrophes are not used to create plurals. You might see this type of thing in signs and advertisements: "apple's", "banana's" and, very famously, "potatoe's". "Apple's" and "banana's" would be fine, if used correctly: the apple's skin was shiny; the banana's peel was still bright green. "Potatoe's", on the other hand, is never correct. Instead these would be correct: the potatoes were covered in a layer of mud; the potatoes' skins were muddy; the potato's skin was crispy. "Potatoes" is plural; "potatoes'" is plural and possessive; "potato's" is plural and singular.

Have a go at this quiz and see how much you know on the subject.

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1.
Contract the following pair of words into one.
I have.
I'hve
Ive
I've
Iv'e
Similarly, "you have" becomes "you've" and "we have" becomes "we've"
2.
Contract the following pair of words into one.
Does not.
Doesnot
Does'not
Does'nt
Doesn't
The apostrophe is not placed between the two words!
3.
Contract the following pair of words into one.
Must not.
Mustnot
Mus'tnt
Must'nt
Mustn't
How often do you use the word "mustn't"?
4.
Contract the following pair of words into one.
Who is.
Whois
Who's
Whos'
Whose
Be careful not to confuse "who's", which means "who is", with "whose", which is the possessive of "who"
5.
Contract the following pair of words into one.
Are not.
Are'not
Arent
Are'nt
Aren't
Always place the apostrophe where the letter or letters are omitted
6.
Contract the following pair of words into one.
They have.
Theyave
Theyh've
The'yve
They've
Two letters are omitted here: they have becomes "they've"
7.
Contract the following pair of words into one.
Would not.
Wouldnot
Would'not
Would'nt
Wouldn't
Similarly, "can not" becomes "can't" and "could not" becomes "couldn't"
8.
Contract the following pair of words into one.
They would.
Theyd
They'd
The'yld
They'ld
Similar contractions are "I'd", for "I would", and "she'd" for "she would" or "she had"
9.
Contract the following pair of words into one.
Should not.
Shouldnot
Should'not
Should'nt
Shouldn't
Use the apostrophe only where the letters are omitted!
10.
Contract the following pair of words into one.
It is.
It is
Its
It's
Its'
Be careful not to confuse "it's", which means "it is", with "its", which is the possessive of "it"

 

Author:  Sue Daish

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