It’s incredible that a tiny scrap of punctuation can cause such panic. But I am here to tell you, there’s no need to be intimidated.

There are only ever two reasons to use an apostrophe:

  1. to signify missing text

it’s = it is (The missing text is the i in is.)

  1. to signify possession

Jenny’s dog

The Jones’ house

That’s it!

Plurals: apostrophes, keep out

So often I see apostrophes used in plurals, commonly, for days of the week. Look out for them and you’ll see them everywhere.

Perhaps you do it. You’re enjoying brunch with a friend and caption your Instagrammed eggs, Sunday’s. Next time, go for Sundays. It’s a plural. Chuck an s on the end and take the day off. Why tap an extra key when it’s not needed?

It’s or its?

If a contraction, such as it’s or you’re, trips you up, try saying it in full. If it makes two full words and the sentence still makes sense, then you’re golden and the apostrophe stays. If not, leave it out.

You’re a spunk. = You are a spunk. > YES, this makes sense. The apostrophe stays.

The café produces its own honey. = The café produces it is own honey. > NO, this doesn’t make sense. The apostrophe is correctly left out.

When in doubt, leave it out. Like many things in life, it’s that simple.

Happy punctuating, and thanks for reading.