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Author: Dan Reade

    Introduce apostrophes, why they are used, and common errors with them.


    Explain the difference between its and it’s.


    Explain the difference between your and you’re.


    Explain how to make plural names possessive.


    Explain how to make a name or word ending in s possessive. 


This packet should help a learner seeking to understand how to use correct punctuation and who is confused about how to use apostrophes. It will explain standard rules for apostrophes and common errors.

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The Basics of Apostrophes

Apostrophes may seem easy, but they are one of the most misused pieces of punctuation in English. But they do not have to be! This guide will introduce apostrophes, give some of their basic uses, and outline common mistakes.


Source: Creative Commons: University of Leicester

Its vs. It's

The video below will show how to distinguish between its and it's.

Source: Dan Reade

Your vs. You're

The video below will show how to distinguish between your and you're.

Source: Dan Reade

Making Plural Names Possessive

Making plural names, like Smiths and Joneses, possessive can seem quite difficult, but there's actually an easy two-step process. The video below will show how.

Source: Capital Community College

The Possessive Form of Words Ending In -S

The video below will show how make the possessive form of words ending in -s.

Source: Dan Reade


The proper use of apostrophes can seem tricky, but in this section, you've seen videos and PDFs illustrating the basics, plus common exceptions. In this packet, you've learned how to:

  • Use apostrophes
  • Distinguish between its and it's
  • Distinguish between your and you're
  • Make plural names possessive
  • Make words ending in -s possessive

With these tools, it should be easy to master the use of apostrophes.

Source: Dan Reade