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Part: III Appendixes > apostrophe (')

apostrophe (')

The apostrophe indicates omission, possession, and sometimes the plural of certain letters, nouns, numbers, and abbreviations.

  1. The possessive pronouns—its, hers, his, ours, yours, theirs—do not use an apostrophe.

  2. The possessive of plural nouns ending in "s" is formed by adding an apostrophe: 10 days' trial.

  3. Joint possession is indicated by adding an apostrophe and an "s" to the last noun only: Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. To indicate separate possession, add the apostrophe and an "s" to each noun: Ben's and Jerry's ice cream cones.

  4. Add an "s" with no apostrophe to form the plurals of letters, nouns, numbers, and abbreviations, if it is possible to do so without causing confusion: several YWCAs and YMHAs; in the 1960s; in fours and fives.

  5. Add an apostrophe and an "s" to form the plurals of lowercase letters used as nouns, abbreviations using periods, and capital letters that would otherwise be confusing: C.P.A.'s; a's and b's; I's, A's, U's.


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