I was a student teacher in a Massachusetts elementary school, and it took me awhile to figure out the correlation between the pencil and hallway behavior. If I replied, "Yes, you should bring a pencil," the walk to my classroom took 15 minutes and involved a lot of disruptions, student squabbles, drifting students and other various misbehaviors.
Historical development[ edit ] The apostrophe was first used by Pietro Bembo in his edition of De Aetna It was also frequently used in place of a final e which was still pronounced at the time when it was elided before a vowel, as in un' heure.
Modern French orthography has restored the spelling une heure. English spelling retained many inflections that were not pronounced as syllablesnotably verb endings -est, -eth, -es, -ed and the noun ending -es, which marked either plurals or possessives also known as genitives ; see Possessive apostrophebelow.
So apostrophe followed by s was often used to mark a plural, especially when the noun was a loan word and especially a word ending in a, as in the two comma's.
This was regarded as representing the Old English genitive singular inflection -es. The plural use was greatly reduced, but a need was felt to mark possessive plural. The solution was to use an apostrophe after the plural s as in girls' dresses. However, this was not universally accepted until the midth century.
English possessive The apostrophe is used in English to indicate what is, for historical reasons, misleadingly called the possessive case in the English language. This case was called the genitive until the 18th century and like the genitive case in other languages does not always involve possession.
After the 18th-century grammarians began to refer to the genitive case as the possessive case, grammarians and other commentators got it into their heads that the only use of the case was english 101 writing a paragraph for kids show possession Simply changing the name of the genitive does not change or eliminate any of its multiple functions.
For singulars, the modern possessive or genitive inflection is a survival from certain genitive inflections in Old English, and the apostrophe originally marked the loss of the old e for example, lambes became lamb's. Until the 18th century, the apostrophe was extensively used to indicate subjective, "normal" plural, and its use for indicating plural "possessive" use was not standard before the middle of the 19th century.
General principles for the possessive apostrophe[ edit ] Summary of rules for most situations Possessive personal pronouns, serving as either noun-equivalents or adjective-equivalents, do not use an apostrophe, even when they end in s. Other pronouns, singular nouns not ending in s, and plural nouns not ending in s all take 's in the possessive: Plural nouns already ending in s take only an apostrophe after the pre-existing s when the possessive is formed: Basic rule singular nouns For most singular nouns the ending 's is added; e.
If a singular noun ends with an s-sound spelled with -s, -se, for examplepractice varies as to whether to add 's or the apostrophe alone.
A widely accepted practice is to follow whichever spoken form is judged better: In many cases, both spoken and written forms differ between writers. Basic rule plural nouns When the noun is a normal plural, with an added s, no extra s is added in the possessive; so the neighbours' garden where there is more than one neighbour is standard rather than the neighbours's garden.
If the plural is not one that is formed by adding s, an s is added for the possessive, after the apostrophe: These principles are universally accepted. In the absence of specific exceptional treatment in style guides, the possessives of these plurals are formed by adding an apostrophe and an s in the standard way: These would often be rephrased, where possible: In such examples, the plurals are formed with an s that does not occur at the end: A problem therefore arises with the possessive plurals of these compounds.
Sources that rule on the matter appear to favour the following forms, in which there is both an s added to form the plural, and a separate s added for the possessive: The issue of the use of the apostrophe arises when the coordinate construction includes a noun phrase and a pronoun.
In this case, the inflection of only the last item may sometimes be, at least marginally, acceptable "you and your spouse's bank account". Jack's and your dogsbut there is a tendency to avoid this construction, too, in favour of a construction that does not use a coordinate possessive e.
If the word or compound already includes a possessive apostrophe, a double possessive results: Tom's sisters' careers; the head of marketing's husband's preference; the master of foxhounds' best dog's death. Many style guides, while allowing that these constructions are possible, advise rephrasing: If an original apostrophe, or apostrophe with s, occurs at the end, it is left by itself to do double duty:This book was good in part 1 of 3 to convince me to use simpler English and less words.
The examples she provided demonstrated how writing is improved by following this principle. Reading this book has given me the confidence I needed to teach writing. The information is presented in a clear, concise, easy-to-follow format and offers a myriad of ways to adapt the author's suggestions to your unique teaching style and to your class(es).
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The apostrophe (' or ’) character is a punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritical mark, in languages that use the Latin alphabet and some other alphabets.
In English it is used for several purposes: The marking of the omission of one or more letters (as in the contraction of do not to don't).; The marking of possessive case of nouns (as in the eagle's feathers, or in one month's time).
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