Apostrophes have two uses: to show the omission of a letter or letters from a contraction, as in “you’re” and “can’t”, and to show the possessive case of nouns, as in “Bob’s” and “Jill’s”, and indefinite pronouns, as in “anybody’s” and “anything’s”.

Note the difference between contractions and possessives:

“You’re” for “you are”, as in “you’re planning what” “Your”, as in “your idea”
“She’s” for “she is”, as in “she’s running for president” “Hers”, as in “the idea was hers”
“He’s” for “he is”, as in “her husband says he’s supporting the campaign” “His”, as in “his support lost the campaign”
“It’s” for “it is”, as in “it’s not her fault” “Its”, as in “its campaign message was never clear”
“They’re” for “they are”, as in “they’re planning to run again next time” “Their”, as in “their plans may change”
“Who’s” for “who is”, as in “who’s better to decide” “Whose”, as in “those whose vote counts”

Plurals do not take apostrophes between the root word and the “s” plural ending. Possessive plurals require an apostrophe after the “s” plural ending.

The girls had their trophy photographed. (plural)

The photograph showed the girls’ trophy. (possessive)

The apostrophe denotes possession, the trophy of the girls.

To repeat: Please remember that “its” is possessive and “it’s” is a contraction, as in “it’s a pleasure to see the statue returned to its rightful place”.


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