GMAT Verbal : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Jack and Jill's cars were both in the shop for repairs. 

Possible Answers:

Jack's and Jill's cars were both

Jack's and Jill cars were both

Jacks and Jills' cars were both

Jack and Jill's cars were both

Jack and Jills' cars were both

Correct answer:

Jack's and Jill's cars were both

Explanation:

This sentence misuses an apostrophe. Here, there are multiple cars being possessed by multiple individuals. Since the two individuals are listed separately, they most likely do not own the cars together; therefore, an "'s" should come after both of their names in order to show that they individually own their own cars. If they owned the cars together, then a comma would go after only Jill's name. The correct answer is, "Jack's and Jill's cars were both."

Example Question #12 : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

The wives suggestions caused her husband to ponder.

Possible Answers:

The wives suggestions caused her husband

The wifes suggestions caused her husband

The wife's suggestions caused her husband

The wives' suggestions caused her husband

The wifes' suggestions caused her husband

Correct answer:

The wife's suggestions caused her husband

Explanation:

This sentence does not contain an apostrophe where it is needed. The word "wife" is being used in a possessive manner, instead of being plural. The correct form is " wife's," making the correct choice: "The wife's suggestions caused her husband."

Example Question #13 : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Many people accused the company of trying to form a monopoly because it was acquiring many of it's competitors very quickly.

Possible Answers:

a monopoly because it was acquiring many of it's competitors very quickly.

a monopoly because they was acquiring many of its competitors very quickly.

a monopoly because it was acquiring many of its' competitors very quickly.

a monopoly because they was acquiring many of it's competitors very quickly.

a monopoly because it was acquiring many of its competitors very quickly.

Correct answer:

a monopoly because it was acquiring many of its competitors very quickly.

Explanation:

This sentence contains an apostrophe usage error. The word "it's" is a contraction for "it is," while it is being used as a possessive pronoun in this sentence. The correct form is "its," making the correct choice "a monopoly because it was acquiring many of its competitors very quickly."

Example Question #14 : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

The cars quality was so good that they soon became very popular.

Possible Answers:

The cars's quality was so good

The car's quality was so good

The cars', quality was so good

The cars quality was so good

The cars' quality was so good

Correct answer:

The cars' quality was so good

Explanation:

This sentence does not contain an apostrophe where it is needed. The word "cars" in this sentence is plural and possessive; the clue that "cars" is plural is the use of the pronoun "they" later on in the sentence. Therefore, an apostrophe should come after the "s" (cars'). When making plural nouns that end in "s" possessive, you simply add an apostrophe to the end - nothing further. The correct choice is, "The cars' quality was so good."

Example Question #15 : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Its necessary to do the work properly the first time.

Possible Answers:

It necessary to do the work

Its' necessary to do the work

Its necessary to do the work

It's necessary to do the work

It's' necessary to do the work

Correct answer:

It's necessary to do the work

Explanation:

It is clear that what is supposed to be meant by "its" in this sentence is the contraction for "it is." The correct form for this is: "it's." The correct choice is, "It's necessary to do the work."

Example Question #16 : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

The children rode their scooter's throughout the neighborhood.

Possible Answers:

scooters' throughout the neighborhood.

scooter's throughout, the neighborhood.

scooters throughout the neighborhood.

scooter's throughout the neighborhood.

scooters throughout, the neighborhood.

Correct answer:

scooters throughout the neighborhood.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses an apostrophe. You should never use "'s" to make a word plural. The apostrophe in "scooter's" should be omitted and no additional punctuation is necessary. The correct choice is, "scooters throughout the neighborhood."

Example Question #17 : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Many people considered the song a masterpiece; it's notes evoked strong feelings in everyone that listened to it.

Possible Answers:

a masterpiece; its' notes evoked strong feelings in everyone that listened to it.

a masterpiece, its notes evoked strong feelings in everyone that listened to it.

a masterpiece; its notes evoked strong feelings in everyone that listened to it.

a masterpiece, it's notes evoked strong feelings in everyone that listened to it.

a masterpiece; it's notes evoked strong feelings in everyone that listened to it.

Correct answer:

a masterpiece; its notes evoked strong feelings in everyone that listened to it.

Explanation:

This sentence misuses an apostrophe. There should be no apostrophe before the "s" in "its." The word "it's" is actually an contraction for "it is." Since the sentence is showing possession in this regard, "its" is the appropriate word. No other punctuation is needed or should be changed. There should be a semicolon after "masterpiece" because the sentence joins two independent clauses without the use of a coordinate conjunction. The correct answer is, "a masterpiece; its notes evoked strong feelings in everyone that listened to it."

Example Question #18 : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

In a meeting with the managers', Rebecca recieved a raise.

Possible Answers:

In a meeting with the managers, Rebecca,

In a meeting with the managers, Rebecca

In a meeting with the manager's, Rebecca

In a meeting with the managers', Rebecca,

In a meeting with the managers', Rebecca

Correct answer:

In a meeting with the managers, Rebecca

Explanation:

This sentence misuses an apostrophe. An apostrophe should never be used to pluralize a noun. All other punctuation is correct. The correct answer is, "In a meeting with the managers, Rebecca." 

Example Question #19 : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Many people invest in stock's in order to grow their assets.

Possible Answers:

people invest in stock's

people invest in, stocks

people invest in stocks

people invest in stocks,

people invest in stocks'

Correct answer:

people invest in stocks

Explanation:

This sentence misuses an apostrophe. Apostrophes should never be used to pluralize a noun. The correct plural of "stock" is "stocks." The correct answer choice is, "people invest in stocks."

Example Question #20 : Correcting Apostrophe Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

The book bags weight was an unwieldy sixty pounds. 

Possible Answers:

The book bags weight was

The book bags' weight was

The book bag's weight was

The book bag's weight was,

The book bags weight was,

Correct answer:

The book bag's weight was

Explanation:

This sentence contains an apostrophe error. The word "bags" is possessive in this sentence; in order to make it properly possessive, an apostrophe is needed before the "s." No additional punctuation or changes are necessary. The correct choice is, "The book bag's weight was."

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