What comes to mind when you think of March? A high school student is thinking “only a few months left of school until summer.” Adults are thinking “I have only seventeen days to schedule a babysitter so I can drink for Saint Patrick’s day.” College kids have one thing and one thing only on their mind: spring break. March is the unofficial month of spring break, which, at least to, thousands of college students across the nation, means it is a 30-day stretch of time dedicated to partying, preferably in exotic locations around the world. So whether you choose to lay on a beach or stay home, what better time to brush up on your writing skills then a week off of school? Here are five commonly used apostrophe mistakes and how to avoid them!
A common error happens when you write the plural form of a noun in which an apostrophe precedes the plural s. So when you are shooting your friends a text saying that you are waiting for your taxis, don’t use the apostrophe!
Pronouns are followed by an apostrophe and s only as contractions. For example, when you are tweeting about how your ex is staying at the same resort that you are, use an apostrophe (he’s). However, when you run into a total catch, possessive pronouns (such as theirs and yours) never include an apostrophe.
3. Separate/shared possession
When two or more people or other entities are described as separately owning something, each name should be in possessive form: "Joe's and Ashley's drinks are the same color." However, when they share possession, include an apostrophe and an s after the latter name only: "Joe and Ashley's drinks are waiting for them."
4. Plural form of an abbreviation
No apostrophe is required with plurals of abbreviations. Write, for example, "This bar doesn’t even have any IPAs" (not IPA's).
5. Plural form of a numeral
In the rare case of indicating more than one instance of a numeral, do not use an apostrophe: "My room number is three 7s then a four” (not 7's).
Hopefully everyone enjoyed this guide while relaxing and working on your tan. Now here's to the second half of the spring semester!
Written by Ellen Devereux
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.