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com155_Ch38 - 38 Apostrophes Understand What Apostrophes Do...

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688 38 Apostrophes Understand What Apostrophes Do An apostrophe (’) is a punctuation mark that either shows ownership ( Susan’s ) or indicates that a letter has been intentionally left out to form a contraction ( I’m, that’s, they’re ). Although an apostrophe looks like a comma (,) , it is not used for the same purpose, and it is written higher on the line than commas are. apostrophe comma , Practice Using Apostrophes Correctly Apostrophes to Show Ownership Add ’s to a singular noun to show ownership even if the noun already ends in s . Darcy ’s car is being repaired. Joan got all the information she needed from the hotel ’s Web site. Chris ’s house is only a mile away. IDEA JOURNAL Write about some possessions that you and others in your family value. To understand this chapter, you need to know what nouns and pronouns are. For a review, see Chapters 22, 27, and 33. ¡
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EDITING ESSAYS Chapter 38 • Apostrophes 689 If a noun is plural and ends in s, just add an apostrophe to show ownership. If it is plural but does not end in s, add ’ s . The actors outfits were dazzling. [More than one actor] Seven boys coats were left at the school. The children ’s toys were all broken. The placement of an apostrophe makes a difference in meaning. My neighbor ’s twelve cats are howling. [One neighbor who has twelve cats] My neighbor s’ twelve cats are howling. [Two or more neighbors who to- gether have twelve cats] Do not use an apostrophe to form the plural of a noun. Use the stair’s or the elevator. All of the plant’s in the garden are blooming. Do not use an apostrophe with a possessive pronoun. These pronouns already show ownership (possession). Do you want to take my car or your’s? That basket is our’s. Possessive Pronouns my his its their mine her our theirs your hers ours whose yours Its or It’s The single most common error with apostrophes and pronouns is con- fusing its (a possessive pronoun) with it’s (a contraction meaning “it is”). Whenever you write it’s, test to see if it’s correct by reading it aloud as it is . ¡
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EDITING ESSAYS 690 Part Seven • Punctuation and Capitalization PRACTICE 1 USING APOSTROPHES TO SHOW OWNERSHIP Edit the following sentences by adding ’s or an apostrophe alone to show own- ership and by crossing out any incorrect use of an apostrophe or ’s . EXAMPLE: Fever’s are an important part of the human bodys system of defense against infection.
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