The apostrophe is an important punctuation mark that has several different uses. This lesson will teach you about two of them: possessives and contractions.


One way apostrophes can be used is in possessives. Possessives are when we show ownership, or that something b. Take a look at the example sentence.

This is Joe’s pencil.

This sentence is another way of saying “This pencil belongs to Joe”. By adding apostrophe + s after the word Joe, we are showing that the pencil belongs to Joe. Here are some more examples.

Alice's goldfish is one year old.

The dog ate the boy's homework.

The cup's handle broke because I dropped it.


When an apostrophe is used in a contraction, it is representing missing letters. For example, the contraction of did not is didn’t. Here, the apostrophe is representing the missing o and is showing that we contracted, or shrunk these two words together.

They are practicing grammar.

They're practicing grammar.

It is hard to do math homework sometimes.

It's hard to do math homework sometimes.

My friends were not kidding.

My friends weren't kidding.


Sources and Helpful Links