From Teflpedia

The apostrophe /əˈpɒstrəfiː/ is the symbol used extensively in English for contractions and for the possessive 's.

Use[edit | edit source]

The apostrophe is used to indicate:

  • possession: Susan’s book; today’s news; next week’s meeting;
  • omission of letters
Contractions: It’s mine; they’re here.
Normal omissions: o’clock (omitted "f"); ma’am (omitted "d"); goin’ (omitted "g", wich means /ɪn/ instead of /ɪŋ/).
Uncommon omissions: impo’tant is a spelling that emphasizes the lack of /r/ sound, i.e. /ɪmˈpɔːtənt/ rather than /ɪmˈpɔːrtənt/.
  • omission of numbers: May ’68;
  • in certain expressions of time: in two weeks’ time;

Non-standard English[edit | edit source]

Greengrocer's apostrophe[edit | edit source]

A non-standard, but increasingly common use of the apostrophe is as a plural, as in potato's and tomato's.

Huntin’, shootin’ an’ fishin’[edit | edit source]

It is also quite common to hear words finishing in -ing (normal pronunciation /ɪŋ/) in which the final consonant is pronounced /n/. In spelling this is represented by substituting the final "g" by an apostrophe.

Examples include the upper class expression huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’, and the lyrics of pop and rock songs: cryin’drivin’dyin’livin’lyin’rockin’singin’sittin’talkin’walkin’ – etc.

References[edit | edit source]