If there was an official grammar police, I’m sure I’d be the sheriff. Especially when it comes to punctuation because it’s often overused or used incorrectly. While there are some “rules” you should break from English class (they were only rules for school anyway- not real life writing), using punctuation correctly is a rule you want to stick with.
Apostrophe mistakes are among the most common punctuation abuses. Whether you like it or not, most blog readers form negative opinions of blogs with lots of grammar and spelling mistakes. If you want others to read your posts, then show you care about the content you publish.
And if you’re looking to work with brands, PR people who are worth a darn don’t select people with crappy grammar skills. Sure we all make mistakes, but proofreading will catch them so you don’t drive everyone batty.
Let’s dive into the top 5 apostrophe mistakes:
1. The Rogue Apostrophe
This rogue apostrophe makes people twitchy. It’s really the worst of the worst because it comes out of nowhere. Hello, random.
Ex. “Mom’s everywhere love our blog!”
Ex. “I need to plant some more flower’s.”
When you use an apostrophe, it should be either a contraction or possessive. If you look at the first sentence, is it “Mom IS everywhere love our blog”? Nope! So it’s not a contraction.
And does the everywhere belong to mom? Again, nope so it’s not possessive either.
That apostrophe doesn’t belong, girlfriend! So stop getting apostrophe-happy and just LET IT GO.
Yep, it’s a classic mistake but it still happens. I’ll even admit to doing it in my first drafts every once in a while and then smacking my forehead when I proofread. Just try not to hit publish with these all mixed up. Here’s the difference between these three trouble-makers:
There: a place/location
Ex. There is my favorite restaurant.
They’re: they are
Ex. They’re going to the park.
Their: belonging to more than one person
Their dog is so sweet.
See how completely different they are? A little proofreading for those fast-typing fingers should keep this mistake at bay.
Okay so maybe this doesn’t drive anyone quite as batty as the others. Mainly because we don’t use these words as often. But it’s still an apostrophe mistake that’ll make readers flinch a bit.
Who’s: Who is
Ex. Who’s your daddy?
Whose: the possessive form of “whom”
Ex. That girl, whose blog is awesome, went to a blog conference.
I know you’ve seen this one a lot. But really, it doesn’t have to be that hard.
Your: possessive form of you
Ex. Your writing is the bomb.
You’re: You are
Ex. You’re the bomb.
See? You’re the bomb and so is your writing. People love you so keep that mistake far far away so they won’t change their mind.
This one’s a sneaky little thing because there are only three letters. Sometimes it sneaks by grammar-police eyes because it’s so small but nevertheless, this mistake get the sirens going.
It’s: It is
Ex. It’s a great day.
Its: possessive form of it
Ex. The chameleon changes the color of its skin.
It’s a Wrap (not “Its” of course)
I think you’re catching my drift by now. The basic gist is this: if you’re using an apostrophe, ask yourself if it’s a possessive. If it’s not, then read it aloud as a contraction. Whether or not to use an apostrophe will be crystal clear.
You’ve got this!
Do tell… which apostrophe mistake makes you the most batty?
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