Punctuation apostrophes


The apostrophe has two uses

1. To show that we have made words shorter. We have contracted them. 
2. To show that something belongs to someone. I.e. they possess it. (possession)

Here are two examples.

My dad's car is red. 

Here we have only one dad but we have put on the letter s because we have put an apostrophe.  It shows that the car belongs to dad.

"I'll tell you that later " he whispered. 

I will has become I'll, we have joined two words and missed out the letters WI and put in the apostrophe instead.

We use apostrophes because it can make our writing easier to read.
In this session we are going to look at apostrophes for contracting words.

Try these examples showing the contracted form.

  Contraction  Letters missed out
Can not Can't O
Do not     
Should not     
Could not     
Would not    
Has not     
I will  I'll  wi
They will     
He will     
There is There's i
Who is     
You are     
They are     
Would have     
They have     




Here are the answers showing the contracted form. How did you do?

  Contraction  Letters missed out
Can not Can't o
Do not  Don't o
Should not  Shouldn't o
Could not  Couldn't o
Would not Wouldn't o
Has not  Hasn't o
I will  I'll  wi
They will  They'll wi
He will  He'll wi
There is There's i
Who is  Who's i
You are  You're a
They are  They're a
Would have  Would've ha
They have  They've ha


Can you see any patterns in the contractions above?

Look at the contractions can't, don't, what letter is missed out in each case?
It's the "o". We can now predict that if a word has got n't at the end it is missing the "o".
Be careful with will not - it becomes won't.
Can you see the pattern in the others?
Quickly look that the table below and see if you can remember the pattern.

Put in the missing letters

  Letters missing














Answers to the missing letters

  Letters missing
'll  wi
n't  o
're a
've ha

That wasn't too bad, was it? Now, when you see "would've", you know that it is "would have".

The next session on apostrophes we will look at possession.

Good luck

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