Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

Apostrophe Mistakes

Apostrophe Mistakes English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: May 16 2008

Themes: How To


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

Native English speakers make English mistakes all the time but no one calls them on it because they don’t have a foreign accent. It’s not fair but it’s true.

One of the hardest things about the English language is apostrophes. It’s so hard that native speakers misuse them all the time!

Mason is taking out the recycling in his apartment building when Jason arrives to see him and finds an opportunity for a little grammar lesson.

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

Log in to Listen

2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Mason:  What’s up, Jason? How’s it going?

Jason:  Hey, dude, I was just on my way to your place. You taking out the recycling?

Mason:  Yeah man. Just got done. It’s my weekly task.

Jason:  What’s up with these apostrophes?

Mason:  “Bottle’s” and “can’s,” dude.

Jason:  But it’s plural. It’s not possessive.

Mason:  It’s got an ’s’. It’s “bottle’s.” “Can’s.”

Jason:  It’s so funny, ’cause, you know an apostrophe is like super hard to get right? Even native speakers don’t ever get it.

Mason:  What do you mean? It’s like, “you’re,” apostrophe, “bottle’s,” apostrophe.

Jason:  An apostrophe is only there if…Well, “you’re” it’s there because it’s a contraction. The apostrophe represents a letter that’s missing as in the ‘a’ in “are.” And then if it was like, “Mason’s cans,” it would have an apostrophe because they belong to Mason.

Mason:  Right. “Can’s.” Apostrophe.

Jason:  But this is just “cans,” like more than one can. So it doesn’t have an apostrophe. You know what I mean?

Mason:  Dude, it’s my recycling. Like, why you gotta get all grammar on me?

Jason:  I’m not. I’m just teasing you. I’m just saying it’s funny how, like, people learning the language complain about apostrophes. I make mistakes all the time with apostrophes and…

Mason:  Yeah. I guess. Apostrophes are the least of my worries with English. I’m lucky if I can think of the right word when I want it. Seriously.



Go Super to take Quiz Go Super!


Lesson MP3

Go Super to download full lesson MP3 Go Super!

The iTEP® test

  • Schedule an iTEP® test and take the official English Practice Test.

    Take Now >


Mason has two boxes, one labeled “can’s” and the other labeled “bottle’s.” Jason explains that they should say “bottles” and “cans” since the only time you use an apostrophe is when something belongs to someone (example: Jason’s Lucky Day) or there’s a letter missing because of a contraction (example: was not = wasn’t).

But the way Jason describes apostrophes is confusing because the example of a possessive he uses is “Mason’s cans.” This gives Mason a headache and he suggests there be no more grammar lessons in the hallway.



Log in to Comment

pink angel

pink angel

Saudi Arabia

when i first learned how we can use the 2 kinds of a postrophe i miedded up completely and i thought that it was something completely complex but slowly i figure out when can i use them , also thank you for this topic now i am sure of my information it give me more confident of what ihave learned

06:33 AM Jul 30 2008 |



United States

kinda boring o_O

11:35 PM Jul 21 2008 |

1 person likes this




Well,I think that using right grammar in English is really important.when we write papers in formal,the grammar that used on sentences must be right in papers.
so,making good sentences and right grammar as soon as possible.

03:04 PM Jul 02 2008 |


Viet Nam

Really interesting! I can use apostrophe more exactly… Thanks a lot!

03:01 AM May 22 2008 |



United States

Guns 'N roses? Cool

08:36 AM May 21 2008 |




They are  different ! I found it very difficulte!!

05:08 AM May 21 2008 |



To be honest, I've never had trouble with apostrophes, I find them very simple.Laughing Maybe I make mistakes on another things, but not on this.

08:41 PM May 20 2008 |

Thaly Tx

Thaly Tx


The apostrophe has three uses:
1) to form possessives of nouns
2) to show the omission of letters
3) to indicate certain plurals of lowercase letters.
postrophes are NOT used for possessive pronouns or for noun plurals, including acronyms.

07:23 PM May 20 2008 |

roosevelt 18


well, actually english language is esay but it has some little dufficult grammar rules like apostrophe but I think you can get more information or correct your own grammar in an easily way; just studying!!!

I am sincere, I think that common american people are so lazy, that is why they have many mistakes in grammar.  =0)

01:15 PM May 20 2008 |



i think it's important to learn this kind of lessons before we go any further.

10:44 PM May 19 2008 |



i think it's important to learn this kind of lessons before we go any further.

10:44 PM May 19 2008 |


zeus2006Super Member!


I guess, this is just lesson.If not, I’ll get anxiety about this site’s English.

07:24 PM May 19 2008 |


zeus2006Super Member!


I guess, this must be just lesson,of course they know it well.If not, I’ll get some anxiety about this site’s English.
They can teach English to us that they have to know perfect their mother language. Do you agree with me?

07:22 PM May 19 2008 |



Saudi Arabia

Thanks for the lesson..Smile

07:29 PM May 18 2008 |



yes you right i would like to share time with you my friend,sincerely


07:08 PM May 18 2008 |



This is very good. No matter if your students are practicing oral or written english. Excellent.

04:41 PM May 18 2008 |




I don't make mistakes this way because I usually learn a word with the correct writing 

04:19 PM May 18 2008 |

Green Alice

Russian Federation

It seems strange to me that many people find apostrophes difficult. The rules are so clear that a person needs very little practice to learn and remember them. Even exceptions (such as "it's" and "its") are quite logical.

As for "bottle's" and "can's", it could make sense if the author was fooling around and meant "bottle's box" and "can's box". Of course, we usually don't say so, since bottles and cans are inanimate objects, but who cares when you are making a joke?

However, English punctuation in general is the most difficult and confusing thing for me, because no one ever explained its rules to me.

10:41 AM May 18 2008 |



it’s a interesting topic to learn…i too hav some doubts in putting apostrophe…now it’s clear..

05:28 AM May 18 2008 |



I think the apostrophe is easy to me .But sometimes I can't think of the right words when I want it.That is really the problem.so I agree with Mason,apostrophe is the least of my worries of English.

02:12 AM May 18 2008 |

Likes (54):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast