Using Apostrophes in Time Expressions (Temporal Expressions)
The Quick AnswerApostrophes are used in time expressions. For example:
- 1 year's insurance
- 2 days' leave
- a week's pay
Apostrophes in Time Expressions (Temporal Expressions)Apostrophes are used in time expressions (e.g., three years' experience, two days' pay, one day's time). These are also known as temporal expressions.
In a temporal expression, the apostrophe is positioned before the s for single units of time and after for multiple units of time. For example:
- I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun. (Thomas A. Edison) (As this is one day, the apostrophe goes before the s.)
- Alan was given two days' notice. (As this is two days, the apostrophe goes after the s.)
- That is the equivalent of one year's pay. (As this is one year, the apostrophe goes before the s.)
- My car came with three year's free insurance. (As this is three years, the apostrophe should go after the s.)
These are both correct.
This is wrong. It should be 3 months' mobile insurance.
This is wrong. It should be 4 years' free credit.