Apostrophes - Ownership

Learn how to use possessive apostrophes!

Our Program

Apostrophes have a variety of purposes in writing. Knowing their different uses is a crucial skill for young writers to learn. Using apostrophes makes writing flow a lot better, which is why they can be especially helpful in all types of writing. One of the main uses of apostrophes is to demonstrate ownership in writing. Let’s help your child understand how to use apostrophes to show ownership!

What is ownership?

Ownership is used in writing when the author is trying to show that something belongs to someone. You can express ownership in writing by using apostrophes!

Apostrophes to show ownership

You can show ownership with apostrophes simply by adding -’s after the name of the person that owns that item.

For example, if you wanted to show that Sam the Spying Giraffe owned a blue pencil case that you liked, you could write:

  • “Sam the Spying Giraffe’s blue pencil case is so cool!”

This sentence is telling the readers that Sam has a blue pencil which is really cool. Apostrophes that show ownership are also sometimes called possessive apostrophes.

Exceptions to the -’s rule

Sometimes, you will need to demonstrate ownership for plural nouns (like groups of people). In this case, if the plural noun already ends with an s, you will simply need to add the apostrophe (without adding an s). However, some plural nouns won’t end in an s, so you will still need to add the -'s.

Here are some examples to show you what we mean:

  1. The twins’ bedroom was decorated with posters of their favorite bands.
  2. The children’s playroom was messy from the playing they had done all afternoon.

One last exception to be mindful of is when a singular noun already ends with an s. In this case, you will only need to add an apostrophe after the s.

Example: This species' spots are irregular.

Activity & Resource

Showing ownership with apostrophes is just that simple! We have an activity for your child to try using apostrophes to show ownership on their own. This should help them put their knowledge to the test!

Get this resource as a PDF

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