A nasty little writing quiz about apostrophes

By popular demand, another sneaky, nasty grammar quiz. The last one got hundreds of comments and likes and I’m told customers and staff in a certain UK fashion house nearly came to blows arguing over it.apostrophe quizThis time we’re looking for apostrophes … nasty little b*ggers they are, too…

In which of following sentences is there one or more (or no) apostrophe used wrongly?

No cheating now! Answers are below…

  1. I’d love to go shopping with you but you know how your always spending more than you’re budget!

2. He’s always talking about buying towels to be used as “her’s…” isnt that just too sexist and divisive?

3. I’ve always loved fish and chips from a local chippy but its hard to know what to choose … and if their hygiene comes up to safety’s standards.

4. Sometimes you just have to look at life from human’s points of view and relate that to the difficulties of conserving nature.

5. I belong to a number of women’s business networking groups and find this a truly effective way of marketing my business.

6. Katy’s issues are all too common, sadly, but I know she will find it very helpful to get counselling from the Business Womens’ Society networking group in her town.

7. Men’s business and other clubs may well benefit from the introduction of ladies’ participation, if only to stop all that w*llie-waving.

8. I can’t imagine how ridiculous it would be if we were to combine the photo’s of Emma’s, Karen’s, Alyson’s and Lindsay’s identical recipes into one document.

9. Too often someone’s own views overshadow the possibility that most other’s views might just be as valid: isn’t this annoying!

10. On the other hand other people’s views are often more interesting and relevant than those of someone who’s views are expressed loudly.

11. In my local supermarket today I saw a sign that said “tomatoes half price.” Would’nt it be great – if only they were’nt rather dry and tired-looking?

12. Did you see that Harry and James are going to set up a new restaurant called ‘Harry and James’s?’

13. Isn’t it terrible to see how it’s colour has faded over the years? I talked to the owners and they’re furious about their bad luck.

14. The boys’ clothing department is quite a long way from the girl’s section.

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OKies, now for the answers 

1. I’d love to go shopping with you but you know how your always spending more than you’re budget! 2 x goofs.
I’d love to go shopping with you but you know how your (you’re) always spending more than you’re (your) budget!

2. He’s always talking about buying towels to be used as “her’s…” isnt that just too sexist and divisive? 2 x goofs
He’s always talking about buying towels to be used as ‘her’s (hers)…’ isnt (isn’t) that just too sexist and divisive?

3. I’ve always loved fish and chips from a local chippy but its hard to know what to choose … and if their hygiene comes up to safety’s standards. 1 x goof
I’ve always loved fish and chips from a local chippy but its (it’s)  hard to know what to choose … and if their hygiene comes up to safety’s standards!

4. Sometimes you just have to look at life from human’s points of view and relate that to the difficulties of conserving nature. 1 x goof
Sometimes you just have to look at life from human’s (humans’) points of view and relate that to the difficulties of conserving nature.

5. I belong to a number of women’s business networking groups and find this a truly effective way of marketing my business. No goofs.

6. Katy’s issues are all too common, sadly, but I know she will find it very helpful to get counselling from the Business Womens’ Society networking group in her town. 1 x goof
Katy’s issues are all too common, sadly, but I know she will find it very helpful to get counselling from the Business Womens’ (Women’s) Society networking group in her town.

7. Men’s business and other clubs may well benefit from the introduction of ladies’ participation, if only to stop all that w*llie-waving. No goofs.

8. I can’t imagine how ridiculous it would be if we were to combine the photo’s of Emma’s, Karen’s, Alyson’s and Lindsay’s identical recipes into one document. 1 x goof.
I can’t imagine how ridiculous it would be if we were to combine the photo’s (photos) of Emma’s, Karen’s, Alyson’s and Lindsay’s identical recipes into one document.

9. Too often someone’s own views overshadow the possibility that other’s views might just be as valid: isn’t this annoying! 1 x goof
Too often someone’s own views overshadow the possibility that other’s (others’) views might just be as valid: isn’t this annoying!

10. On the other hand other people’s views are often more interesting and relevant than those of someone who’s views are expressed loudly. 1 x goof
On the other hand other people’s views are often more interesting and relevant than those of someone who’s (whose) views are expressed loudly.

11. In my local supermarket today I saw a sign that said “tomatoes half price.” Would’nt it be great if they were’nt rather dry and tired-looking? 2 x goofs
In my local supermarket today I saw a sign that said ‘tomatoes half price.’ Would’nt (wouldn’t) it be great if they were’nt (weren’t) rather dry and tired-looking?

12. Did you see that Harry and James are going to set up a new restaurant called ‘ Harry and James’s?’ No goofs.
(Two ways are correct: a proper name that ends in ‘s’ possessive you either can use an apostrophe only after that ‘s’ [James’] – or an apostrophe plus an extra ‘s’ as above.)

13. Isn’t it terrible to see how it’s colour has faded over the years? I talked to the owners and they’re furious about their bad luck. 1 x goof
Isn’t it terrible to see how it’s (its) colour has faded over the years? I talked to the owners and they’re furious about their bad luck.

14. The boys’ clothing department is quite a long way from the girl’s section. 1 x goof
The boys’ clothing department is quite a long way from the girl’s (girls’) section.

How did you do?

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