In addition to their role in contractions, apostrophes are used when showing possession. For example, we can say, “The girl’s shirt was white,” or “The dog’s collar is too loose,” and the apostrophe indicates that the shirt belongs to the girl and the collar belongs to the dog.

However, the rules change when there are multiple subjects included and an ‘s’ is added to the end of the subject. In this case, the apostrophe goes after the ‘s’ instead of before it. For example, “The boy’s hands are cold” is referring to one boy. However, if you move the apostrophe after the s and say, “The boys’ hands are cold,” then you are referring to a pair or group of boys.