Apostrophes do two things. They show that a letter (or letters) is missing or that something belongs to someone. Like commas, apostrophes are often used incorrectly.
Any time a letter (or letters) is missed out an apostrophe is needed to show this.In the box are common examples of words that use an apostrophe in this way.
Examples of apostrophes
does not becomes doesn’t
you have becomes you’ve
do not becomes don’t
cannot becomes can’t
I have becomes I’ve
I will becomes I’ll
I would becomes I’d
it is becomes it’s
would not becomes wouldn’t
Activity 37 Spot the apostrophe
In the text below, highlight all the words that use an apostrophe to show a letter (or letters) is missing.
Check if you’ve spotted all the words with apostrophes:
Activity 38 Inserting apostrophes
Try putting in the missing apostrophes in the text below.
Check your answer to see if you put in all the missing apostrophes:
We didn’t do well at football because the team hadn’t had much time to play together. I wasn’t very confident at all. The coach wouldn’t allow us to chat to each other and I don’t think he liked us much. It’s a shame because we could’ve been really good.
Activity 39 Matching shortened words with the full word
Match the shortened words below, which use an apostrophe, with the full word.
Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.
a.she did not
b.we would not
d.he will not
- 1 = a
- 2 = c
- 3 = e
- 4 = f
- 5 = d
- 6 = b
You also use an apostrophe when something belongs to someone. It goes after the name of the owner:
My dad’s coat
The cat’s bed
The house’s windows
Activity 40 Apostrophes for belonging
Add the apostrophes in the correct place for the following sentences:
Check where you’ve put your apostrophes against these answers:
My sister’s coat.
The dog’s bowl.
The car’s wheels.