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Language CentreTranslation and correctionLanguage Centre Style GuidePunctuationApostrophes



John’s apple (the apple belonging to John)

Peter’s daughter

William’s cat

Names and surnames that end in 's' are tricky. The basic rule is that ancient names (Moses, Jesus, etc.) do not take an 's' after an apostrophe (Jesus’ teachings). Modern names and surnames do (Jones, Williams the Jones’s cat, the Williams’s car).


TVs (not TV's)

videos (not video’s)

DVDs (not DVD’s)


Missing letters:

Apostrophes are also used to indicate where a letter (or letters) has been left out:

can’t, hasn’t, it’s, gov’t (for government), are just a few examples.


Website for supercorrect use of apostrophes:
Last modified:15 September 2017 9.00 p.m.