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Helping to ensure your writing makes sense

We are confident that our actions will bring real benefits to peoples’ lives. X

The above sentence is incorrect.  The word “people” is a plural noun.  There is no such word as “peoples” except  when it is occasionally used in the following way: “the native peoples of China” for example, referring to the different groups of people in China.  In the above sentence, the lives belong to the people, not to the peoples.  The correct  way to write it is “...will bring real benefits to people’s lives”.

Daddies jacket that he wore as a child. X

This was the caption under a photograph on a printed calendar.  The word “Daddies” as it is written has only one meaning ie, several (or more than one) Daddy.  Even if there were an apostrophe after Daddies’, as shown, it would be saying that the jacket that he wore belonged to several Daddies, which doesn’t make sense.  The question to ask is “to whom does the jacket belong?” or “who owns the jacket?”  The answer is Daddy , so the apostrophe goes after the word Daddy.  The correct way to write the statement  is: “Daddy’s jacket that he wore as a child”.

Your training brochure is on it’s way . X

This statement is saying that the training brochure is on it is way, which is nonsense.  The only time that “its” should have an apostrophe is when it is a contraction (short form of) “it is” or “it has”.  The correct way to write this statement is:  “Your training brochure is on its way”.

We are the preferred partner to many of the worlds blue-chip manufacturers. X

The apostrophe is missing from “worlds” and, as we are only talking about one world, the apostrophe comes before the ‘s’.  The correct way to write this is: “We are the preferred partner to many of the world’s blue-chip manufacturers”.

Well, several people have asked me what I use baking soda for – it’s high time I gave baking soda it’s due! X

The latter part of this statement is saying: it is high time I gave baking soda it is due! - which is nonsense. The second “it’s” is possessive and refers to the due belonging to baking soda. There should be no apostrophe here. The correct way to write this is: “’s high time I gave baking soda its due!”

Apples for Sale - Cooker’s & Eater’s 50p lb X

There is no reason for the apostrophe to be there in the words “Cooker’s & Eater’s”. These are simply plurals, and an apostrophe should never be used to make a word plural. The correct way to write this is: “Apples for Sale - Cookers & Eaters 50p lb”.(Unless of course they belonged to Mr Cooker and Mr Eater!)

Apostrophe Observations

Test yourself on the use of “it’s” vs “its”

Email your apostrophe queries

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This page is really about things I’ve seen in print that are incorrect.  Again, hopefully, this will demonstrate the correct use of the apostrophe as used in different contexts.

Click here for apostrophe rules