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Apostrophes (To Show Possession) 01
The dog's kennel. Use apostrophes in this way to denote a kennel belonging to a dog.

Apostrophes (To Show Possession) 01

The apostrophe of possession shows belonging, e.g. the house belonging to Ryan is Ryan's house. Making a singular noun possessive is very straightforward, but you would be surprised how many people make mistakes with this punctuation mark! With singular nouns, take the word and add an apostrophe plus an -s. So you can make such possessives as these: crocodile's teeth, baby's blanket, light's brightness; dentist's office; Lucinda's bike; book's pages, etc.

What do you do if the word ends in an -s already? For example, how would you write about the shortage of storage space on the bus? Ready? You could write this: the bus's shortage of storage space was always a terrible inconvenience for anyone arriving home from the airport. Notice that even though "bus" already ends in an -s, you would still add an apostrophe plus an -s. People's names ending with an -s can be a little trickier. It is considered correct to write "James' pen" or "James's pen" (and if you think about it, this would be pronounced with two s sounds: James-s pen...). So when it is a name ending in an -s, it's your choice!

Try our English quiz on apostrophes of possession to sharpen your mind.

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1.
Choose the correct answer for the following phrase.
Belonging to Jack.
Jack is
Jacks
Jack's
Jacks'
Here are some more examples of possessive names: Julie's / Ben's / Samir's / Chang's
2.
Choose the correct answer for the following phrase.
The car belonging to the manager.
The managers car
The manager's car
The managers' car
The managers's car
"The managers' car" would refer to a car shared by more than one manager
3.
Choose the correct answer for the following phrase.
Belonging to the dog.
Dogs
Dog's
Dogs'
Dogs's
"Dog" is singular, so requires an apostrophe plus -s
4.
Choose the correct answer for the following phrase.
The book belonging to Mark.
Marks book
Mark's book
Marks' book
Marks's book
Names which do not end in an -s behave like other nouns when making possessives
5.
Choose the correct answer for the following phrase.
Belonging to whom?
Who's?
Whos'?
Whose?
Whose's?
"To whom does this book belong" would be "whose book is this?"
6.
Choose the correct answer for the following phrase.
Belonging to Birmingham.
Birminghams
Birmingham's
Birminghams'
Birminghams's
You could also say Brighton's pier / London's museums / Truro's shops
7.
Choose the correct answer for the following phrase.
The milk belonging to the cat.
The cats milk
The cat's milk
The cats' milk
The cats's milk
Singular nouns require an apostrophe plus -s to become possessive
8.
Choose the correct answer for the following phrase.
Belonging to it.
It is
Its
It's
Its'
No apostrophe needed. Remember "it's" = "it is"
9.
Choose the correct answer for the following phrase.
The laptop belonging to Mum.
Mum' laptop
Mum's laptop
Mums' laptop
Mums laptop'
"Mum's" is the possessive for one "mum"; "The mums' swimming costumes were covered in sand" would refer to more than one "mum"
10.
Choose the correct answer for the following phrase.
Belonging to the boy.
Boys
Boy's
Boys'
Boys's
Similarly, "belonging to the man" would be "man's"

 

Author:  Sue Daish

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