Apostrophes (‘) can be confusing even for native speakers of English, but they aren’t difficult to master if you can remember a few apostrophe rules. Apostrophes in English serve two basic functions; they show possession, and they indicate that letters have been removed from the original words in the process of forming a contraction. They are not necessary for forming plural nouns or possessive adjectives (my, your, his, her, their, our, its). In the following story, you will see examples of apostrophes being used for both purposes. Pay close attention to where they are and what they’re doing as you read.
Robert and Lisa Jones have two beautiful children. Amy is nine and Ross is seven. The Joneses’ house has two floors. The children’s rooms are upstairs, and the parents’ bedroom is downstairs. Lisa’s room is always clean while Ross’s room is always messy. The Joneses’ lives are very busy this week. Ross’s sports teams all have games, Amy’s ballet class has a recital, and Robert’s car is in the shop, so the Joneses are trying to get everything done with only Lisa’s car. So far today, they’ve been to school, practice, rehearsal, the grocery store and the veterinarian’s office, and they aren’t finished yet. They’ll be busy until late tonight, and tomorrow, they’ll do it all again.
Now listen to a podcast and/or read a transcript on apostrophes here.