Exercise 1: Apostrophes

Click on the word that completes the sentence correctly.

Question 1

"(ITS/IT'S) a bad day in Black Rock," the grizzled sheriff growled. "Only two hangings and one arrest."

ITS

Incorrect.

"It's" is correct. It's means "it is," which makes sense in this sentence. On the other hand, "its" means "belonging to it," which does not make sense.

"It's a bad day in Black Rock," the grizzled sheriff growled. "Only two hangings and one arrest."

IT'S

Correct!

"It's" is correct. It's means "it is," which makes sense in this sentence. On the other hand, "its" means "belonging to it," which does not make sense.

"It's a bad day in Black Rock," the grizzled sheriff growled. "Only two hangings and one arrest."

Question 2

The (CHILDRENS/CHILDREN'S) toys were strewn all over the sidewalk.

CHILDRENS

Incorrect.

"Children's" is correct. An apostrophe shows that the toys belong to the children.

The children's toys were strewn all over the sidewalk.

CHILDREN'S

Correct!

"Children's" is correct. An apostrophe shows that the toys belong to the children.

The children's toys were strewn all over the sidewalk.

Question 3

Mary's suitcases went to Arkansas; her traveling (COMPANION'S/COMPANIONS') suitcases went to Colorado. Unfortunately, Mary and her companion were going to California.

COMPANION'S

Correct!

"Companion's" is correct. There's only one companion, so use an aposprophe s. If there were more than one companion, the apostrophe would go at the end of the s (companions'), which is not the case in this sentence.

Mary's suitcases went to Arkansas; her traveling companion's suitcases went to Colorado. Unfortunately, Mary and her companion were going to California.

COMPANIONS'

Incorrect.

"Companion's" is correct. There's only one companion, so use an aposprophe s. If there were more than one companion, the apostrophe would go at the end of the s (companions'), which is not the case in this sentence.

Mary's suitcases went to Arkansas; her traveling companion's suitcases went to Colorado. Unfortunately, Mary and her companion were going to California.

Question 4

Edith Wharton, a famous American author, was one of the wealthy (JONESES/JONES'/JONE'S), the family with whom others tried to keep up.

JONESES

Correct!

"Joneses" is correct, even though it may look odd. There's only a plural here--no possession--so you don't need an apostrophe.

Edith Wharton, a famous American author, was one of the wealthy Joneses, the family with whom others tried to keep up.

JONES'

Incorrect.

"Joneses" is correct, even though it may look odd. There's only a plural here--no possession--so you don't need an apostrophe.

Edith Wharton, a famous American author, was one of the wealthy Joneses, the family with whom others tried to keep up.

JONE'S

Incorrect.

"Joneses" is correct, even though it may look odd. There's only a plural here--no possession--so you don't need an apostrophe.

Edith Wharton, a famous American author, was one of the wealthy Joneses, the family with whom others tried to keep up.

Question 5

"(DON'T/DO'NT) lick that ice cream cone," she cried. "I just saw the dog lick it from the other side."

DON'T

Correct!

"Don't" is correct. Remember that the apostrophe takes the place of the omitted letters.

"Don't lick that ice cream cone," she cried. "I just saw the dog lick it from the other side."

DO'NT

Incorrect.

"Don't" is correct. Remember that the apostrophe takes the place of the omitted letters.

"Don't lick that ice cream cone," she cried. "I just saw the dog lick it from the other side."

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