How We Improve Your Writing by Teaching Aspects of Grammar


As stated elsewhere on this website, good writing is the basis for good communication. The fewer errors there are in writing, the better someone else is able to get the message right. This is a part of how we improve your writing skills.

In order to do this, we will focus on some of the rules of grammar. There are many rules, of course, and this article will address one of them, the apostrophe. Other articles on this site address other rules of grammar. Let’s dive into the subject of the apostrophe.

How We Improve Your Writing by Teaching 
the Correct Use of Apostrophes

Apostrophe Woman

It is not uncommon to see the apostrophe where it should not be. People are often confused about its use, and the improper use of it turns up when you least expect it. I’ve seen improper use of the apostrophe on T-shirts and in advertisements.  


  • The pie’s Maria makes are fantastic.
  • The scooter’s are not for sale.
  • The copie’s are atop the printer.

In these examples, none of the apostrophes are needed. The words are only plural: pies, scooters, copies.

When learning the situations regarding the use of the apostrophe: “There are three basic situations in which an apostrophe would be the correct choice:

  1. Contractions
  2. Possession
  3. Forming a plural (rare)” (Sears 56).

Contractions indicate that a letter is missing from a word. There could be more than one letter missing. A few common contractions include:

I'm / I am

I'll / I will

don't / do not

you're / you are

I've / I have

ma'am / madam

we're / we are

he's / he is

You'll come across many others when you least expect it. Be on the lookout for them. This is how we improve your writing by sharpening your eye regarding the use of the apostrophe. 


We should be aware that, “One of the most common mistakes with apostrophes comes with possessive pronouns (its, yours, his, hers, theirs, ours, whose). Remember that the only one of these words that ever takes an apostrophe is its, and that happens only when the word means it is” (Sears 59).


It’s going to be a rainy day.

Or . . .

It is going to be a rainy day.

Possession asks the question to whom or what does it belong? If it belongs, then an apostrophe is needed except for the possessive pronouns mentioned above.


Apostrophe needed: Missy’s ticket is in her purse

Apostrophe not needed: Her ticket is in her purse.

Apostrophe needed: Rick’s suitcase is lost

Apostrophe not needed: His suitcase is lost.

Apostrophe needed: Karen’s and Tony’s seats are in the last row.

Apostrophe not needed: Their seats are in the last row.

Forming a Plural

Most plural nouns end with an -s, such as tables, chairs, glasses, and cups, you get the idea. To show possession, place the apostrophe after the final -s.

Remember, a noun refers to a person, place, thing, or idea. 


  • Our tables’ legs are made of teakwood.
  • The chairs’ seats are woven tightly.
  • The glasses’ stems are delicate.
  • The cups’ motifs are of rare quality.

Of course, the English language like other languages has exceptions “such as children, women, and deer. If a plural doesn’t end in -s, the possessive is formed with an -’s (that is, treat it as if it were singular)” (Sears 61).


  • Our children’s toys are wrapped in newspaper.
  • The women’s shoes are on the porch.
  • The deer’s antlers feel like velvet.

Two More Aspects of Grammar Show 
How We Improve Your Writing

Couple with laptop

Joint ownership or not?

The apostrophe can tell us if an item is possessed by one person or two. If an item is possessed by two people, then a sentence would be written this way:

Rebecca and Pete’s laptop is missing.

This lets us know that the laptop belonged to both Rebecca and Pete. It was their laptop. 

If an item is not possessed by two people, then the apostrophe is written this way:

Rebecca’s and Pete’s laptops are missing.

This indicates that Rebecca had a laptop, and Pete had a laptop. Both have missing laptops.

Capital letters used as words

Regarding capital letters used as words, Sears advises us to “just take an -s without an apostrophe for their plural form” (64).


If you learn the three Rs, people will think you’re smart.

Trey made Bs on all of his tests.

How we improve your writing is by teaching you some of the basics of grammar. There is much more to learn, but learning step by step is the fastest and most thorough way to accomplish this goal. 

Explore more grammar basics on this site and above all, reread the steps and practice using this knowledge in sentences. 

Images: Dream by Wombo

Sears, Kathleen. Grammar 101. Adams Media, 2017.