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An "s" on the end of a word can do two things: make a noun plural or possessive. A plural indicates there is more than one thing (apple/apples). A possessive indicates ownership, that something belongs to someone (Jane's dog). The apostrophe (') makes it a possessive, not a plural. This may seem basic, but people get their plurals and possessives confused all the time.
Apostrophes can be confusing because they do more than one thing. They indicate possession (see above) but they also indicate contractions, like isn't, you'll, wouldn't. In contractions, the apostrophe stands for the missing letters (you will becomes you'll, leaving out the w and the i).
It's and its drives
everyone crazy because it's seems to be the exception to the possessive
rule. If Mary's dress means the dress belongs to Mary and John's car
means the car belongs to John, then shouldn't it's toy mean the toy
belongs to it? Well, it doesn't. It's stands for the contraction it
Tip: Every time you see the apostrophe, say it is out loud to yourself and you will always get this right.
Here's another helpful way to think about this problem: his, hers, theirs and its are all possessives with no apostrophe. In that way its doesn't really break the possessive rule, it follows it.
Your means something
belongs to you: your glasses.
People always confuse
these two. They write, Your the best!
Two is a number
Like the twos, there
are three theirs, and they're:
There are only two spellings of this word, but there are at least five uses. Since a few are very close in meaning, it's best to check yourself every time you use the word:
or rule: The most basic principle of investing is to buy low and sell
The Desired Effect
Effect is a noun:
Jan's raise had a great effect on her attitude.
These two words are difficult because their meanings are so close. We could say Jim was so affected by the training that it had a positive effect on his sales. Here's the simplest trick to remember the difference: If you can put "an" or "the" in front of it, use effect.
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