Apostrophe to Form Plural

Adding ‘s instead of s to form the plural primarily is reserved for  two cases:

Single letters =  a’s, i’s, u’s, p’s, q’s, A’s, I’s

Single numbers = 1’s, 7’s

In general, don’t use ‘s to form the plural of ordinary nouns, names, numerical dates or abbreviations, although some styles use ‘s for abbreviations that include periods: M.D.’s.

(As with most grammar “rules,” add ‘s when it helps prevent confusion: Mary uses too many and’s.)

That’s it for apostrophes! Are there other punctuation marks you find perplexing?

Joy Eckel, Freelance Copy Editor
Email joyeckel@gmail.com for a free sample edit and estimate!

2 Responses to “Apostrophe to Form Plural”

  1. Marie Beswick-Arthur Says:

    Love your posts! I find myself looking up how to express a question mark within a sentence.

    For example: What next? thought Mary.

    It can’t really be as I typed – unless the word thought is capitalized…can it?

    But if thought was capitalized, then that would look odd because it separates the inner dialogue from the attribution.

    If I italicize the inner thought, then I feel better using the rules applicable to dialogue, and follow the ? with the name of the person doing the thinking, or capitalize the pronoun which follows as part of the attribution (even though it wouldn’t be capitalized if a comma)

    Other times I switch the sentence around. However, when doing the latter, I feel like a grammar-loser.

    Any commentary on question marks within sentences would be appreciated.

    • joyeckel Says:

      Marie, thoughts follow the same rules as regular dialogue, so it would be as you typed, although italicizing the actual thought is common, some even using quotation marks.

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