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APOSTROPHES in Time...
(Hmm, this title makes me think of the movie, Somewhere in Time.)
Apostrophes used in time are also known as temporal expressions. The question is when do you use an apostrophe and should it be BEFORE the S or AFTER the S.
And how do we know the difference?
Well, let's make this easy.
If it is a single unit of time (one or a), the apostrophe goes before the s:
one week's vacation
a day's work
If it is multiple units of time, the apostrophe goes after the s:
two weeks' notice
three days' work
four years' free service
There are times you don't use an apostrophe—so how can we know the difference?
We can 'know' when to use apostrophe S (one) or when to use S apostrophe (multiple)
with the use of one small word—OF.
O and F. Of.
Take 'one week's vacation' — One week's vacation is saying one week OF vacation. Apostrophe needed.
Or 'three days' work — Three days OF work. Apostrophe needed.
How about this sentence: I have two years left on my car loan. This sentence does NOT get an apostrophe—you wouldn't say, "I have two years of left on my car loan."
THIS 'rule' applies to TIME, VALUE, and DISTANCE expressions:
five pounds' worth of sugar
one pound's worth of butter
a stone's throw away
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