Saturday, August 22, 2009

Possessive Apostrophe

I just replied to a post in BTG and so thought of putting the concept of possessive apostrophe here.

The sentence in contention was:

A survey by the National Council of Churches showed that in 1986 there were 20,736 female ministers, almost 9 percent of the nation's clergy, twice as much as 1977.

A. twice as much as 1977
B. twice as many as 1977
C. double what it was in 1977
D. double the figure for 1977
E. a number double that of 1977's

and the question was why option E is wrong.


The apostrophe (’) is one of the most used and misused English punctuation marks. No one is ever quite sure where to put it. You can use it when things are left out (contractions), but it’s the possessiveness that causes the most trouble.
The apostrophe is all about making a statement of ownership. You belong to me. This belongs to that. In grammar speak, the apostrophe shows the possessive of nouns.
There are four ways to use the apostrophe to show ownership or belonging.
1. Add apostrophe s to the end of a singular noun that does not end in s:
the manager’s room
2. Add apostrophe s to the end of a singular noun, even if it ends in s (this practice may vary in some places):
Doris’s scarf
3. Add apostrophe s to the end of a plural noun that doesn’t end in s
the children’s bag
4. If the plural noun ends in s, just add the apostrophe
my friends’ car
Notice that possessive pronouns like yours, his, hers, ours, its and theirs are not followed by the apostrophe.
Finally, if you want to play around with it, Wikipedia has a list of four phrases illustrating how the apostrophe can literally change the meaning of sentences.
my sister’s friend’s investments (I have one sister and she has one friend.)
my sisters’ friends’ investments (I have many sisters and they have many friends.)
my sisters’ friend’s investments (I have many sisters and they have one friend.)
my sister’s friends’ investments (I have one sister and she has many friends.)

50 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. 能付出愛心就是福;能消除煩惱就是慧。......................................................

    ReplyDelete
  3. 以簡單的行為愉悅他人的心靈,勝過千人低頭禱告........................................

    ReplyDelete
  4. 我對自己的信心已超越別人對我的評價..............................

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello,這裡真是百看不厭的部落格 ........................................

    ReplyDelete
  6. 良言一句三冬暖,惡語傷人六月寒。.................................................................                           

    ReplyDelete
  7. 人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德....................................................................

    ReplyDelete
  8. 當一個人內心能容納兩樣相互衝突的東西,這個人便開始變得有價值了。............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  9. 第一次來這裡 愛上你的部落格 感謝你的分享............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  10. 快樂與滿足的秘訣,就在全心全意投注於現在的每一分,每一秒上..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  11. 老天爺賦予了強者的能力,就是要他比弱者多擔待..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  12. 每日都有新日光,每日都有新希望。..................................................

    ReplyDelete
  13. 人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德............................................................

    ReplyDelete
  14. We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull, Some have weird names , and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box ...................................................................

    ReplyDelete
  15. What you have written in this post is exactly what I have experience when I first started my blog.I’m happy that I came across with your site this article is on point,thanks again and have a great day.Keep update more information.
    Architectural Firms in Chennai
    Architects in Chennai

    ReplyDelete
  16. Very nice post here thanks for it I always like and search such topics and everything connected to them. Keep update more information..
    VMware Training in Chennai
    Software Testing Training in Chennai
    SEO Training in Chennai

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is a very interesting web page and I have enjoyed reading many of the articles and posts contained on the website, keep up the good work and hope to read some more interesting content in the future.
    Digital Marketing Training in Chennai
    Dot Net Training in Chennai
    Hadoop Training in Chennai

    ReplyDelete
  18. Just read your website. Good one. I liked it. Keep going. you are a best writer your site is very useful and informative thanks for sharing!
    android development company in Chennai

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is a very interesting web page and I have enjoyed reading many of the articles and posts contained on the website, keep up the good work and hope to read some more interesting content in the future.
    CCTV Camera Dealers in Chennai
    Logistic ERP
    Athletic Management Software
    CCTV Camera Installation in Chennai
    Human resources management software

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is one of the best Theme park restaurant and often known for their memorable food options. The most of Theme park restaurant food images of deep fryers bubbling with fried and greasy food and color fully. Thanks for ownder full foods.

    Theme Restaurant in OMR

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wonderful blog....Such a very informative and creative contents
    SEO Training Institute in chennai

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for the informative article. This is one of the best resources I have found in quite some time. Nicely written and great info. I really cannot thank you enough for sharing.

    Restaurant in OMR
    Apartments in OMR
    Villas in OMR
    Resorts in OMR

    ReplyDelete