That nasty apostrophe

Standard

Ah, apostrophes. The thing we most love to hate. Why is it the people who thought up apostrophes used them to denote both possessive and plurals as well as contractions. This tiny piece of barely there typing is very important.

 Here are some of the more common apostrophe errors:

It’s/Its: This is one of the exceptions to the rule for making a noun possessive. The possessive of it is its, without an apostrophe. That is in order to distinguish it from the contraction of it is (or sometimes it has), which is it’s.
It’s not the apostrophe’s fault that its usage is so confusing.

Let’s/Lets: Let’s is the contraction for let us; it is not a possessive. Lets is a verb meaning permits or allows; it is not a plural nor possessive form.
Let’s go to the library, if your mother lets us.

 They’re/Their: They’re is the contraction for they are. Their is a possessive pronoun.

They’re going to their place.

Until: The contraction of until is ’til, not till (and never ’till).

You’re/Your: You’re is the contraction of you are. Your is the possessive of you.
Your house is where you’re most comfortable.

Other apostrophe tips:
Never use an apostrophe to make a noun plural. The Smiths have a new house, not the Smith’s have a new house.

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