Today I'd like to answer a question posed by a reader:
Q: When should you use an apostrophe to form a plural?
That's an excellent question. And there's an excellent answer for it. This is one rule I really like, because it's easy to remember.
The answer is never. Never. NEVER. You should never use an apostrophe to form the plural of any word.
The little boy has lots of toy trucks (NOT truck's).
The children are all taking naps (NOT nap's).
The Smiths (NOT Smith's) are coming to dinner.
Lots (NOT lot's) of kids (NOT kids) are out sick today.
Isn't that nice and easy? You NEVER need an apostrophe to form the plural of a word. Apostrophes are used only to form possessives and contractions--never plurals.
Now, you can use an apostrophe to write the plural of symbols or dates.
Example: Back in the 1970's, we were taught to dot our i's and cross our t's.
If you're writing something in longhand, this is a very good rule to follow. But with the use of computers, we can easily just place a very small "s" after dates and symbols, so this rule is not nearly so important as it used to be.
So that's it! A nice, easy rule to remember.
Please let me know if you have any grammar questions or if there's a subject you'd like for me cover in one of these posts. Leave me a comment or email me (RichellaP [at] gmail [dot] com). I'd love to help you if I can!