Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Apostrophes (Part 3 of 4)

(This post comes from Susan Titus Osborn.)

In compound nouns and noun phrases the final element usually takes the possessive form. If plural compounds pose a problem, use of.

* a cookbook's recipes

* my daughter-in-law's profession, but the professions of both my daughters-in-law

In proper names or where there is no clear possessive meaning, the apostrophe is omitted.

* Publishers Weekly, Western Alliance Writers Conference, Department of Veterans Affairs, a housewares sale

Possessives, such as hers, yours, and its, have no apostrophe.

* The dog scratched its fleas.

It's is the contraction for it is.

* It's going to rain today.

Susan Titus Osborn is the director of the Christian Communicator Manuscript Critique Service. She has authored 30 books. You can reach her at susanosb@aol.com, http://www.Christiancommunicator.com/

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