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  • Is it a flying comma, or a quotation mark chopped in half?


  • Either way, you may already be well-versed in how to use the apostrophe, but here's a quick refresher on its usage.


  • The apostrophe can be used in three ways: to mark possession, to mark contraction, to mark the plural of single letters.


  • Most of the time, if you see an apostrophe hovering helpfully near a word, it's trying to mark possession or contraction.


  • First, let's look at how the apostrophe marks possession.


  • As you can see, the placement of this punctuation mark can really change the meaning of a sentence.


  • "Those robots in the sand are my sister's."


  • "Those robots in the sand are my sisters'."


  • "Those robots in the sand are my sisters."


  • When showing possession, the apostrophe belongs next to the noun that owns or possesses something.


  • The noun can be singular or plural.


  • Proper nouns work, too.


  • So if Lucy needs to get her robots under control before they cause mayhem, those dangerous creatures would be "Lucy's robots."

    如果 Lucy 要在她的機器人造成恐慌前管好它們的話,這些危險的東西就是 "Lucy's robots."(「Lucy的機器人。」)

  • But what if Lucy was Lucas?

    但如果今天換成是 Lucas 的呢?

  • Would we write "Lucas' robots" or "Lucas's robots"?

    我們會寫 "Lucas' robots" 還是 "Lucas's robots"?

  • And what if Lucas gave his robots to the Robinsons family?

    又如果 Lucas 把他的機器人交給了 Robinsons 一家人?

  • Would it be "The Robinsons' robots," or "The Robinsons's robots"?

    那會是 "The Robinsons' robots" 還是 "The Robinsons's robots"?

  • The truth is, even grammar nerds disagree on the right thing to do.


  • The use of 's after a proper noun ending in s is a style issue, not a hard and fast grammar rule.

    在專有名詞的結尾是 "s" 的情況下,用 " 's " 的用法是好不好看的問題,不是好不好寫或好不好懂的文法問題。

  • It's a conundrum without a simple answer.


  • Professional writers solve this problem by learning what's considered correct for a publication, and doing that.

    專業作家用他們覺得正確的寫法解決了這個問題,寫做 " s' "。

  • The important thing is to pick one style and stick with it throughout a piece of writing.


  • One more wrinkle.


  • Certain pronouns already have possession built in and don't need an apostrophe.


  • Remembering that will help you avoid one of the trickiest snags in English grammar: its vs. it's.

    記得這點將會讓你不會犯下英文文法上最容易犯的錯誤:"its" 跟 "it's"。

  • "It's" only take an apostrophe when it's a contraction for "it is" or "it has."

    "it's" 有撇號,代表 "it is" 或 "it has"。

  • If you can replace "it's" with one of those two phrases, use the apostrophe.

    如果你要把上述的兩種寫法換成 "it's",那就加上撇號。

  • If you're showing possession, leave it out.


  • Otherwise, contractions are pretty straightforward.


  • The apostrophe stands in for missing letters, and lets common phrases squash into a single word.


  • In rare cases, you can have a double contraction, though those generally aren't accepted in writing, with the exception of dialogue.


  • So it's possessive, it's often followed by s's, and it's sometimes tricky when it comes to its usage.

    所以如果是表示所有物,那通常會加 " 's ",而當遇到 "its" 的用法時會需要小心。

  • It's the apostrophe.


Is it a flying comma, or a quotation mark chopped in half?


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B2 中高級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 撇號 機器人 標記 姊姊 縮寫

【TED-Ed】什麼時候使用撇號 (When to use apostrophes - Laura McClure)

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    Ann 發佈於 2020 年 09 月 30 日