Apostrophe Meaning | Definition Symbol Examples

Learn apostrophe meaning by definition, rules, uses, examples and practice. It is a figure of speech. So, this article is about What is An Apostrophe: How to Learn With Examples.

Apostrophe Meaning

It is a figure of speech as well as a punctuation mark that is used for possession/ ownership, contraction/ omission/ shortening in a sentence related to a noun in singular. It also deals with plural nouns but in a different way. The complete sign/mark of the apostrophe is ‘s.

For Example;

Ali’s book.

It’s my calculator.

I have five students’ books.

Furthermore, a speaker or writer also uses an apostrophe mark for a person who is not present or dead.

For example;

In Shakespeare’s play Macbeth.


Uses and Rules of Apostrophe (‘s):

 An apostrophe can do several main things.

1. Apostrophe for Contraction/ Omission

The important use of an apostrophe and sign is to contract and shorten the words. After contraction, the meanings of the words remain the same.

For Examples;

I did not eat the cookie.

I didn’t eat the cookie.

It is → It’s.

It has → It’s.

I have → I’ve

I had→ I’d

She will → she’ll

I had, I would → I’d

Here, you will decide by seeing the sentence whether the sentence belongs to a simple (without a verb) or perfect sentence where we use 3rd form of the verb after has.

Simple Sentence: It is my financial organization.

Perfect Tense Sentence: It has become part and parcel of my financial organization.

In both sentences, the apostrophe marks of both sentences will be (‘s) whether the sentence is simple or perfect tense.

So “did not” contracted, shrunk, or shortened to didn’t

2. Apostrophe for Possession (shows ownership)

Generally, it replaces the word “of” but gives the same meanings.

The dramas of Shakespeare are very interesting.

Shakespeare’s dramas are very interesting.

Remember, above both sentences are correct.

That’s Smith’s bat.

The bat belongs to Smith.

3. To Pluralizes (Happens very rarely)

If the noun is in plural form, use only apostrophe sign/mark ignoring “s”.

For Example;

Books to books’

Bus buses’

Jacks’ bike is broken.

Her cats’ toys are beautiful.

These are bags’s zips. (Incorrect)

These are books’s covers. (Incorrect)

These are bags’ zips. (Correct)

These are books’ covers. (Correct)

4. For Compound Words

If there is a compound word, use the apostrophe in the last part of that word.

For Example;

Sister-in-law’s marriage.



My mother-in-law’s cooking skills are very effective. (Incorrect)

My mother-in-law’s cooking skills are very effective. (Correct)

5. For Multiple Nouns/ Pronouns or Joint Ownership

If there is more than one subject (nouns), use an apostrophe with the second noun.

For Example;

Umar’s and Rashid’s accounts. (Incorrect)

Umar and Rashid’s accounts.  (Correct)

6. Irregular Noun /Plural Nouns don’t have S at the end

If we have plural nouns that do not end with (s), such nouns are also called irregular nouns. So, we can use apostrophes and signs with such plural nouns.

Examples of Plural Nouns:

Child children

Woman women

Wife wives

Examples of Apostrophe for Irregular Nouns

My children’s toy.

The women’s rights.

The women’s duties.

Apostrophe and Possessive Pronouns:

According to rules, we cannot use both apostrophe and sign while using a possessive pronoun.

For Examples;

1. It’s my book.

It’s my’s book. (Incorrect)

It’s my’s. (Incorrect)

It’s mine.  (Correct)

2. It’s your financial magazine.

It’s yours.

Remember, yours = your financial magazine.


3. These are our uniforms.

These are ours.

Ours= our uniforms.

Another Example;

4. It was her fork.

It was hers.

Hers= her fork.

5. It’s his car.

It is his.

We can’t use apostrophe and sign with possessive pronoun “his”.


His= his car.

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