This image has been in my apostrophe guide for some time, I will use it as a quick reference when I am trying to figure out where and when I should use one.

However when I look up apostrophe on Wikipedia the actual usage rules seem to be more complex then this simple standard.

What are the general rules surrounding apostrophes?
Is my reference accurate or is there something missing?

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I think it's missing the use of apostrophes in pluralizing uses of an individual letter, for example "I got an A and two B's.", although I'm not sure if this is actually correct. In the case of "A's", it certainly does prevent the awkward situation of having a randomly capitalized "as" in the middle of the sentence.

The picture also abandons using an apostrophe in pluralizing an initialism to indicate that the "s" is not a part of an all-too-common-these-days poorly capitalized initialism but rather is in place to indicate pluralness. I suppose, though, that if you put in periods after each initial like we used to be supposed to, then it would be clear that the "s" afterwards just means that it's plural.
I can't read the image you posted very well, but I did look at the wiki page. They are correct. The apostrophe marks the omission of a letter or letters, and is used to indicate possesiveness.

Do not is contracted to don't.
Have not is contracted to haven't.

Easy way to remember it: Any time you remove a letter from a word, replace it with an apostrophe. You see this sometimes in poetry. A poet will leave out a letter or letters to shorten a word so that the number of beats per line conform to his formula. Instead of writing Don't think on it, he might write Don't think on't. On it then becomes one syllable.

As far as possession. When you want to show that an object or trait belongs to somoeone, you use an apostrophe + s after their name.

That is Dorothy's dog.
That is my grandmother's house.
That is my father's book.
That is David's problem.
Those are Sara's new shoes.

If the name or word already has an s on the end, then you just use the apostrophe alone. Repeating the s is unecessary.

That's James' textbook.
That house belongs to the Jones'.
That is The Doors' old tour bus in the museum.

I have noticed more and more often that people are now including the extra s, as in "That's James's book.", but I don't know if this is in error, or if the rules are changing. If in doubt, leave off the extra s.
Thanks for that clarification. But why did they start adding the extra s? Is my memory faulty, or did they teach us not use the extra s in elementary school 30 years ago? I know rules of grammar change, I'm just curious if my memory is that bad. Any speculation as to why the rule changed?
Hehe. Well, some students are better than other students, too. :)




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