Punctuation Quiz #25: Possessive Apostrophes
One use of the apostrophe is to form the possessive case of nouns and indefinite pronouns. Add apostrophes to show possession as needed in the following sentences.
1. All my friends and I gather at the Joneses house every Christmas Eve.
2. We celebrated JFKs life on the fiftieth anniversary of his death.
3. Everyones opinion is important.
4. Carol and Janettes room is to the left of my room.
5. Philip didn’t understand my directions to the store.
Answers and Explanations
Original: All my friends and I gather at the Joneses house every Christmas Eve.
Correct : All my friends and I gather at the Joneses’ house every Christmas Eve.
For a plural ending in s, x, or z add only an apostrophe to show possession.
Original: We celebrated JFKs life on the fiftieth anniversary of his death.
Correct : We celebrated JFK’s life on the fiftieth anniversary of his death.
Initials are treated like single nouns that show possession by adding an apostrophe followed by an s.
Original: Everyones opinion is important.
Correct : Everyone’s opinion is important.
Everyone is an indefinite pronoun and follows the general rule for showing possession.
Original: Carol and Janettes room is to the left of my room.
Correct : Carol and Janette’s room is to the left of my room.
The singular verb is shows that Carol and Janette share one room. When a compound noun refers to something possessed in common, only the second noun shows possession. If Carol and Janette possessed different rooms, each name would be in the possessive case: Both Carol’s and Janette’s rooms are upstairs.
Original: Philip didn’t understand my directions to the store.
Correct : Philip didn’t understand my directions to the store.
No apostrophe is needed before the s in directions because the word does not show possession; it is simply a plural noun.
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