The rules concerning the use of apostrophes in written English are very simple:
1. They are used to denote a missing letter or letters, for example:
2. They are used to denote possession, for example:
This applies to all nouns, so the correct versions are Jesus's disciples, Keats's poems and so on.
Please note that “Its”, which is usually used as a possessive adjective (like “our”, “his” etc), does not take an apostrophe:
... however, if there are two or more dogs, companies or Joneses in our example, the apostrophe comes after the 's':
3. Apostrophes are NEVER ever used to denote plurals! Common examples of such abuse (all seen in real life!) are:
Note: Special care must be taken over the use of “your” and “you're” as they sound the same but are used quite differently:
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Please place written examples of misuse of the apostrophe you have seen on our very popular Message Forum for discussion. Contributors to this Forum willingly help others with correct apostrophe use and there is also a section for Other English Language Problems.
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