We like to say that apostrophes are PC. We don’t mean that they’re politically correct. Rather, we mean that they’re used for possessives and contractions. For contractions, the apostrophe replaces any missing letters. For example:
The apostrophe in they’re replaces the missing “a” in they are.
The apostrophe in you’re replaces the missing “a” in you are.
The apostrophe in isn’t replaces the missing “o” in is not.
The apostrophe in it’s replaces the missing “i” in it is.
We are surprised when we see the apostrophe in the wrong place or more apostrophes than necessary. If a letter isn’t missing, then no apostrophe is needed in that place.
One last note: The apostrophe always points or curves to the left, even when at the beginning of the word. Your word processor may automatically reverse the direction, so be careful with this.
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