You only need apostrophes for possession, to show something belongs to someone else, eg Sipho’s photographs, and for omission, where you leave letters out, eg don’t.


This week let’s focus on possession (and did you notice the apostrophe in let’s – short for let us!)

If the word is singular, the apostrophe goes before the s:
the girl’s books (there is only one girl)
the newspaper’s headlines (there is only one newspaper)

If the word is plural, the apostrophe goes after the s:
the girls’ books (there are many girls)
the newspapers’ headlines (there are many newspapers)

However, if the plural does not end in s, then the apostrophe goes before the s:

children’s toys, men’s toilet.

See below: do you know where the missing apostrophes should go? Check if you’re right with the answers underneath.

1. The boys bicycle (only one boy)
2. The boys dormitory (many boys)
3. Susans house
4. Leratos mother
5. Lehlogonolos artwork
6. Teachers meeting (many teachers)
7. Friends dog (one friend)
8. Friends messages (many friends)
9. Womens work
10. Peoples newspaper


And, here are the answers:

1. The boy’s bicycle
2. The boys’ dormitory
3. Susan’s house
4. Lerato’s mother
5. Lehlogonolo’s artwork
6. Teachers’ meeting
7. Friend’s dog
8. Friends’ messages
9. Women’s work
10. People’s newspaper