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Apostrophe: Level I

Grammar, Resources, Skills

Published on: April 14, 2024

Written by: Gina Hagler

There are few things in grammar that cause as much misery as the apostrophe. For some reason beyond my understanding, kids are introduced to the apostrophe, possessives, and contractions at the same time. The result: Complete confusion.

What can you do with an apostrophe – and how not to confuse your kid in the process?

Take a look!

Start with the POSSESSIVE.

Possessive Noun

If something belongs to ONE person, place, or thing that is not a pronoun, use an apostrophe before the s.

The girl’s shoes are in the closet.
— one girl, several shoes, one place

The cat’s toys are over there.
— one cat, several toys, one place

Possessive Group Noun

When something belongs to more than one person, place, or thing that is not a pronoun, use an apostrophe after the s.

The girls’ shoes are in the closet.
— several girls, several shoes, one place

The cats’ toys are over there.
— several cats, several toys, one place.

Possessive Pronouns

Whose shoes are these?
— One person, several shoes

Their shoes are over there.
— Several people, several shoes

Her sandwich is in the bag.
— one person, one thing, one place

More Possessive Pronouns

Pronouns take the place of the specific noun possessing something.
my, mine, our, ours, its, his, her, hers, their, theirs, your, yours

That’s my dog.
— One person, one dog

That dog is hers.
— One dog, one person


Bottom line?

The dog carried its bowl.
— one dog, one pronoun, one thing
its means belongs to it

It’s over there.
— one thing, one state of being, one place
it’s mean it is

Hint – Hint – Hint – Hint

Do not have your kid use the apostrophe for contractions until they grasp the concept of the apostrophe for the possessive. Explain your reasoning to the teacher. Agree that they’ll for the contraction on contraction worksheets, but in their writing, your kid will be using do not rather than don’t and it is rather than it’s until they truly get the use of the apostrophe for possessives.

Grammar Symbols Challenge I

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