Possessive Apostrophes

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11881

Mary had a little lamb. It was Mary's lamb. Little Bo Peep lost her sheep. They were Bo Peep's sheep. Can you see what's different about the sentences? Learn what an apostrophe is and how to use one!

categories

Grammar

subject
English / Language Arts
learning style
Visual
personality style
Lion
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

What is the girl holding? Do you think it belongs to her?

You saw a picture of a girl holding a bear.

The bear belongs to her. It is her toy. When you write about someone owning something, there is a special punctuation you need to use. This special punctuation is called an apostrophe. It looks like this: ( ' ). You can use an apostrophe to show that something belongs to someone or something. Read the sentence below aloud to your parent or teacher:

This is the girl's bear.

  • Did you see the punctuation in the word "girl's"?

The punctuation between the "l" and "s" in "girl's" is called an apostrophe. This apostrophe tells you that the teddy bear belongs to the girl. If you have one person or thing taking ownership over something else, you write an apostrophe, then an "s," at the end of the word. It may sound a little confusing, but the examples you will see as you read on will help you. With the help of your parent or teacher, read the sentences below:

Breana's toys have wheels.

The sentence you just read tells you about Breana's toys. Breana is the subject of the sentence, and the toys belong to her. Breana is the person being discussed in the sentence. The toys belong to Breana.

Take a look at two more examples:

The boy's dinosaur is tall!

Kaden's toy cars drive fast.

  • Could you see how all of the examples had an apostrophe then an s?

Fantastic! When one person or thing is taking ownership over something else, you need to use an apostrophe, then an "s." This shows the item belongs to someone or something. Tell your parent or teacher who the subject is in the sentence and what the subject is taking ownership of in the sentence below:

The baby's blocks are big.

The subject of the sentence is the baby. The baby is taking ownership of the blocks. The blocks belong to the baby. You can tell these blocks belong to the baby because of the apostrophe and the "s" being added onto the word "baby."


If there are two or more subjects taking ownership over one thing, the apostrophe goes after the "s." With the help of your parent or teacher, read the sentences below:

The boys' blocks are red and yellow.

The boys in the sentence are the subject. They are both taking ownership of the blocks. In this sentence, because there are two boys, the apostrophe comes after the "s."

The dogs' stick has snow on it.

There are two dogs sharing the same stick. The dogs are the subject and both dogs are taking ownership over the stick.

  • Can you find the subject and what the subjects are taking ownership of in the next sentence?

Tell your parent or teacher your answer:

The animals' water is in the blue bowl.

The subjects of the sentence are the animals. The animals are both sharing the water bowl. The apostrophe comes after the "s" because more than one animal is taking ownership of the water bowl.


There is another case where the apostrophe comes after the "s." This happens when someone or something's name ends with an "s." So, you can write either "Carlos's puppy" or you can write "Carlos' puppy."

  • Can you see how the apostrophe comes after the letter "s"?

You're ready to move on to the Got It? section to practice using apostrophes.

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