Don't Let Errors Ruin Your Submissions Pt 4, Apostrophes
Welcome to the 4th post of Don't Let Errors Ruin Your Submissions!
You might think your manuscript's fascinating story potential should rise above any typos and poor grammar, but the truth is agents and publishers receive an onslaught of submissions. They give most of these submissions a few seconds before deciding whether to pass or keep reading. That means any red flags can prompt a rejection.
I say "can" because there will always be the exception to the rule. Counting on being the exception to the rule is NOT a good idea. You need to clean up your submission.
Don't let errors ruin your submission's chances!
We've been going through the 11 most beneficial grammar rules for you to use in your writing, and today we're going to look at rule #5 regarding using the apostrophe to create a possessive noun.
- To indicate possession, end a singular noun with an apostrophe followed by an "s." Otherwise, the noun's form seems plural.
- Possession: noun showing ownership
- Singular noun: noun referring to one item such as a dog or car
- Plural noun: noun referring to more than one such as dogs or cars
- Apostrophe: punctuation that looks like a comma but hovers near the top of the line of text instead of at the bottom and indicates possession
As simple as this rule sounds, many people make mistakes when punctuating possessive nouns, especially when the noun is plural.
Plural, Not Possessive
- Dogs (more than one)
- Cars (more than one)
- Rooms (more than one)
- Princesses (more than one)
Singular Noun, Possessive
- Dog’s (belongs to the dog)
- Car’s (belongs to or is part of the car)
- Room’s (belongs to or is part of the room)
Plural, Possessive Noun
Single Possessive Nouns Ending in "S"
When working with words that end in “s,” the key is to be consistent with how you choose to indicate the possessive form. Be aware, an editor might opt for the other method. If you're consistent in your application, they should recognize that you knew what you were doing.
If you've missed the first three posts in this series, never fear!
Part 1: an overview of the top 11 grammar rules to follow
Part 2: a look at compound sentences and punctuation
Part 3: an exploration of proper comma usage