Apostrophes Exercise (69)

Choose the sentence from each pair in which an apostrophe is correctly inserted, omitted, or located.

    1.
    Please tell me where the men’s room is.
    Please tell me where the mens’ room is.

    2.
    The Smiths’ house is on the corner.
    The Smith’s house is on the corner.

    3.
    Her’s is the best one I had seen so far.
    Hers is the best one I had seen so far.

    4.
    He is well into his 80’s.
    He is well into his 80s.

    5.
    We’ve known the Johnsons for many years.
    We’ve known the Johnsons’ for many years.

Answers and Explanations

1. Please tell me where the men’s room is.
Men is already plural, so the apostrophe precedes the possessive s.

2. The Smiths’ house is on the corner.
"The Smith’s house" implies the residence of the Smith; the Smiths live in the Smiths’ house.

3. Hers is the best one I had seen so far.
Possessive pronouns already show possession, so an apostrophe is extraneous in hers.

4. He is well into his 80s.
This sentence refers to an age range, so 80s is a plural, not a possessive, and no apostrophe is necessary. (At one time, this form was correct, but it is now obsolete.)

5. We’ve known the Johnsons for many years.
No possession is indicated in this sentence, so a simple plural form of the name is correct.

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