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Apostrophes? ~ 5 Minute Grammar Lesson

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It’s time for our weekly 5-minute grammar lesson. The other day I was in Walmart and saw a sign. It almost made me puke… After I recovered, though, I whipped out my phone and took a picture. I love my iPhone!!
So, the question is, when should you use an apostrophe to make a word plural?! And the answer…

When Do Apostrophes Make Words Plural?


Instead, please use the standard English practice of placing an -S at the end of a word. Or an -ES. Or an -IES. Whatever – just don’t use apostrophes. Apostrophes are reserved for contractions and possession. Never, ever, ever use an apostrophe to make a word plural.

So, what should that sign at Walmart really have said?

We are currently out of bananas. We apologize for the inconvenience {and for being so stupid as to not know how to spell inconvenience, too}.

And that’s your 5 Minute Grammar Lesson. Any questions?

Got a picture for a 5 Minute Grammar Lesson? Please email it to me: [email protected]


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About Michelle

Michelle Marine is green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankRobin says

    Hahahahahahaha! Maybe they thought capitalizing every single word would make the sign look so official, that nobody would notice the other errors. But hey, without bananas in your cart, maybe you could head to one of their express lanes for people with “20 items or LESS.” Gotta love The Mart!

    • blankMichelle says

      So funny. I didn’t even notice the misspelling right off the bat. Or the crazy capital letters. Maybe they know about my blog and wanted to make my title easier… 😉

  2. blankBecky Bain says

    That’s the kind of sign that makes me ask (sometimes out loud), “Out of the banana’s WHAT?”

    But they never tell me.

  3. blankAnnie says

    This is a peeve for shure, but also using an apostrophe to pluralize surnames.

    Bob and Mary Smith = The Smiths, not the Smith’s
    Bob and Mary’s dog = The Smiths’ dog, not the Smith’s dog

    And if their surname ends in “s” and/or is possessive, you might as well just give up on most people getting it correct.

  4. blankmjskit says

    OMG!!!! Please don’t tell me that a high school graduate made that sign!!!! 🙂 Sadly to say – the picture made me laugh but your response made me laugh harder! You should email the picture to the store manager with a subject of “what’s wrong with this picture?”.

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