Poll: Which is correct?

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Thread: Apostrophes

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  1. #1
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Apostrophes

    Is the apostrophe important?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I'd use the apostrophe, but I can't honestly get worked up about leaving it out.

  3. #3

    Re: Apostrophes

    It should be years' . It's just like saying a winter's day. The day is of the winter, the jail is of ten years' duration.

  4. #4

    Smile Re: Apostrophes

    I think that apostrophes ARE important - they show possession. Take a look at this example:

    The girl's bags were big.

    This refers to all the bags belonging to ONE girl. But if you move the apostrophe like in the second example:

    The girls' bags were big.

    This refers to the bags belonging to MORE THAN ONE girl. If you don't use apostrophes, you can lose the meaning of a sentence altogether. I know apostrophes aren't the most vital things on the planet, but hey, if you can use them, do!

  5. #5
    JACOOL is offline Member
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    Re: Apostrophes

    I've chosen the first one, althogh at first I found it a bit difficult to undesrstand both of them. What Ronbee has written are much understandable-least for me- so I would go for them.

  6. #6

    Re: Apostrophes

    what would really be correct would be "the crime can be punishable by up to ten years time"

  7. #7

    Re: Apostrophes

    To Panjandrum:

    Apostrophes are used for two purposes: to show possession and in contractions.

    POSESSION
    In the case of the expression "a winter's day" the day belongs to winter. However, in this case, the years don't belong to the jail. Do you understand?

    CONTRACTIONS
    I cannot swim. OR I can't swim.
    They both mean the exact same thing, it's just an abbreviation.
    But this case doesn't use contractions.

  8. #8
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Re: Apostrophes

    I would write: The crime can be punished by up to ten years in jail.

    None of the other choices (with or without apostrophes) sound correct to my AE ear.

  9. #9
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    Re: Apostrophes

    According to Advanced Grammar in Use by Martin Hewings, Unit 53, both of ten years' jail and ten-year jail are correct..

  10. #10
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    Re: Apostrophes

    I agree Mate.

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