Using apostrophes to show possession

Home learning focus

To understand how and when to use apostrophes to show possession.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos to help you understand how and when to use apostrophes to show possession

  • three activities

Learn

A possessive apostrophe shows that something belongs to or is connected to something else.

Watch this clip to learn how to use possessive apostrophes.

Learn how to use a possessive apostrophe.

Singular nouns

A singular nouns is a noun referring to just one person or thing.

For example: Cat

When you want to show that something belongs to that person or thing, you add a possessive apostrophe and an s.

For example: The cat's tail was fluffy.

's shows that the tail belongs to the cat.

Top tip

If a singular noun already ends in s, you don't need to add another s. You can just add an apostrophe at the end.

For example: Charles' cat was naughty.

Plural nouns ending in s

Plural nouns refer to more than one person or thing.

For example: Brothers

To show possession when the noun is plural and already ends in s, you just add an apostrophe to the end of the word. You don't need to add an extra s.

For example:

The brothers' feet were muddy.

The girls' bathroom was a mess.

Watch this video to revise apostrophes for possession.

Focus on the words that are highlighted in pink.

Apostrophes for contraction and possession.

Practise

You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Complete this activity by rewriting the sentences using possessive apostrophes.

Top tip!

Decide whether the noun is singular or plural to help you figure out where to put the apostrophe.

Activity 2

Complete this Singular or Plural Sort activity sheet.

You need to put the words into the correct column. Then write your own sentence using one of the plural nouns.

For example: The horses’ field was covered in puddles.

Either print out the activity sheet or write your answers in two columns instead.

Top tip!

A singular noun will usually end with an apostrophe and an s.

A plural noun that already ends in -s, will just have an apostrophe at the end.

Singular or Plural Sort activity sheet
activity

Activity 3

Complete the Singular or Plural Sentences activity sheet.

Read carefully: You only need to tick the sentences that use a plural noun with an apostrophe.

Either print out the activity sheet or read through it and decide which sentence uses the plural noun instead.

Singular or Plural Sentences
activity

Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt about using possessive apostrophes with singular and plural nouns.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize.

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