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English spellings/Catalogs/Apostrophe

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Use in English
Alphabetical word list
Retroalphabetical list  
Common misspellings  

  • The accents show stress and pronunciation (see English spellings): A: sát, mâde, pàrk, cāst (cást/càst), åll, ãir; E: ére, êar, vèin, fërn; I: sít, mîne, skì, bïrd; O: sóng, môde, lòve, wörd, ŏr; OO: moôn, foòt; U: sún, mûse, fùll, pürr; W: neŵ, ẁant; Y: gým, mŷ, keỳ, mÿrrh.

The apostrophe is shaped (in fonts where there are different shapes) like a 9, not a 6, as shown, for example, in initial position in the examples listed below. (This contrasts with the use of inverted commas, where the opening one is shaped like a 6—or there can be two: 66—and the closing one like a 9—or 99: "sixty-sixes and ninety-nines".)

Initial

Some words that begin with an apostrophe, where it signifies a letter or letters unpronounced in quoted speech, are:

'ālf half *āf, cf. Álf Alfred

'át hat = át preposition

’em them = um hmmm *əm

'ër her = ërr error

'êre here = êar hearing, cf. ére before

'ërs her = ërrs error *ërz

'ím him

'ís him = ís are *íz

'ŏrse horse

'òuse house

’tís and ’tẁas: poetic and/or archaic use of initial apostrophe, replacing omitted initial í of ít ís and ít ẁas

Final and medial

Final apostrophes follow an s to form the genitive plural of nouns (Mánx cáts' tâils); otherwise, like initial and medial apostrophes, they signify a missing (because unpronounced in quoted speech) letter or letters, as in gôin' for gôing (n sound replacing ng sound). Where it replaces a t or d, this final apostrophe may be pronounced as a glottal stop ("glo'al stop"); otherwise final apostrophes are silent.

Some words with final apostrophes, in retroalphabetical order, are:

ẁha'

síngin'

còmin'

*dûín' doin'

gôin'

hávin'

cf. pêople's: përsons'

cáts'