Using apostrophes - Lesson 2

Video source: Choosing between its and it’s | The Apostrophe | Punctuation | Khan Academy featuring David and Paige. (opens in new tab) (Watching time: 2m:30secs)

Instructions: Hover or tap the questions below to see the reason for the answers given in the quiz.

1. A student asks "Which essay was best, mine or ______"
Is it their's or theirs?

theirs ✔
Why: Theirs means belonging to them (just like mine means 'belonging to me')
*Their's* (with apostrophe) is not a word in English.

2. We must observe this method in an attempt to reveal _____ secrets.
Is it it's or its?

its ✔

  1. its is a possessive pronoun meaning belonging to it.
  2. it's always means "it is" or "it has". Try putting "it is/has" into this sentence and see whether it still makes sense.

3. In the ______, digital technology signalled the death of the vinyl recording industry.
Is it '80s or 80's?

'80s ✔
Why: Dates such as the 1980s represent a plural span of years (10 of them). The apostrophe is used here to indicate that some content has been removed for convenience but is still implicit in the grammar. 'The 1980s becomes the '80s.

4. Once you've finished, the rest of the day is _____.
Yours or your's?

yours ✔
Why: Pronouns do not need an apostrophe because they already mean ownership (by themselves).