Apostrophes can be used:
- To replace missing letters (e.g., can't, isn't)
- To show possession (e.g., dog's kennel, dogs' kennel)
- In temporal expressions (e.g., three months' wages)
- To show awkward plurals (e.g., 6's and 7's)
The Rules on When to Use ApostrophesThe rules on using apostrophes can be summarised:
The dog's toy
The dogs' kennel
A day's leave
2 days' notice
Mind your p's and q's.
Your 5's look like 6's.
The Most Common Mistake with ApostrophesLots of words in English end in the letter s. This happens for one of three reasons:
Putting an apostrophe before the s in a plural word is a very common mistake and is considered a grammatical howler.
Select the correct version:
The apostrophe error with plurals
Apostrophes in time (temporal) expressions
Apostrophes replace letters
Apostrophes to show the plural of abbreviations
Apostrophes show possession
Mother's/Mothers' Day, Father's/Fathers' Day, Veteran's/Veterans' Day, Manager's/Managers' Meeting, Chief Executive's/Chief Executives' Meeting