RWC: Mini-master class

rwc19Apostrophes to shorten

Apostrophes (‘) are used for two reasons. Here, you will see that they are used to indicate missing letters in words or phrases.

Apostrophes are used: indicate missing letters

 For example:

(they + have = they’ve; are + not = aren’t; they + will = they’ll)

  • You can’t have it.
  • Don’t do that!
  • I’d like an ice-cream, please.
  • We’d better hurry.


Apostrophes are often used to show that letters have been left out of words.


  • I’m = I am
  • It’s = It is
  • I’ve = I have
  • You’ll = You will
  • He’ll = He will
  • She’s = She is
  • O’clock = of the clock
  • The dog’s barking = The dog is barking

Shorten the words in these sentences by using apostrophes when necessary:

  1. It is a beautiful sunny day.
  2. He is going to regret stealing the money from his brother.
  3. They are the best friends in the world.
  4. The dinner is ready.
  5. I am the fastest sprinter in my entire school.

Now rewrite the following passage spelling out the verbs in full instead of using apostrophes to shorten them.

You’re going on a voyage to the moon. Although it’ll be an exciting adventure, you’ll experience some terrible dangers. It is Jack’s job to help guide and protect you. He’s been well trained and has a lot of skills in survival tactics. I’d love to come with you but I’m going on holiday to Hawaii tomorrow and it’d be a shame not to go.

RWC Home