University North Central Writing Center Handout
1. Use the apostrophe to show
2. Do not use the apostrophe with possessive pronouns:
its, yours, her, his, theirs, ours, whose.
It’s is a contraction for “it is”. Never use it’s as
a possessive pronoun.
3. If a singular noun ends in -s, add the apostrophe and -s when
the word is short (one or two syllables) .
If the word contains more than two syllables, simply add an apostrophe.
4. Add the apostrophe after the -s words that form their plural
with an -s or -es.
the boys’ games
5. Add an apostrophe -s to indicate the plurals of numbers and
There are four i’s in Mississippi.
favorite decade was the 1960’s.
NOTE: The plural of years
can be written with or without the apostrophe:
(1990’s or 1990s). Whichever
style you follow , be consistent.
6. Add apostrophe -s to plural nouns not ending in
7. Use an apostrophe in contraction to show the omission of
you’re (you are)
he’s (he is)