Quick Grammar Help

In the second sentence, is it correct apostrophe usage?

If not, what’s the grammar rule regarding that and provide a cite (link)?

I might need it to convince the publishers if it is incorrect. Thanks in advance.

It is a correct usage. The 's is a contraction for “is.” However some publishers may have a style that doesn’t want them. I was always told not to use contractions in formal writing, except in direct quotes, but I did learn long ago.

Not only are both sentences correct, but you’ve used the proper spelling of “its” in this application!

Pro writer here. It’s correct, but I don’t see any reason why the second sentence is preferable unless it’s dialog. The first just has better rhythm. I agree that avoiding contractions in your basic article, even if it’s not really “formal” writing, is probably a good idea. It just depends on the one you’re going for and the style manual of the pub. Good luck!

Thanks a lot everyone for the input. I’m helping to edit an English-language study book for Japanese children. This sentence pattern came up in a speaking exercise.


In this case I would especially avoid unnecessary contractions. They can be confusing for those learning English, whether it’s a second language or not.

San Francisco is famous for its cable cars and San Francisco’s famous for its cable cars are not the same thing. The apostrophe in San Francisco’s implies something that belongs to San Francisco. It does not mean ‘it’s’ or ‘it is’. Therefore, ‘San Francisco’s famous cable cars’ would be correct but ‘San Francisco’s famous for its cable cars’ is nonsense.

Just to clarify, no one said that the apostrophe-s stood for “it is” but rather that it stood for “is.”

Have you heard of the the children’s book Where’s Waldo?
Or do you remember Ed McMahon proclaiming “Here’s Johnny!”?

Or you wouldn’t say:
*Where’s Bob? Bob’s out back cutting wood.
How’s Bob? Bob’s feeling much better since the operation.

Using apostrophe-s to stand for “is” is a very common usage in English.

And it’s grammar, with an ‘a’.

Sorry, but this is total rubbish. Read OldGuy’s answer above.

Besides: it’s grammar.

Sorry but no. 's has more than one meaning, and as has been said by every other responder, using it as a contraction for “San Francisco is” is grammatically correct. It’s not common usage, but that’s one of those things which fall under “why?” “because”. As far as I can tell, in general “Townname is” doesn’t get contracted to “Townname’s”, but it is grammatically correct.

I disagree. If they are learning English to be used in conversation, they had better learn both forms. The contracted form is probably more common in conversation, although not in writing, at least formal writing. One of the hardest things in learning French is getting used to the contractions: “Q’est-ce que c’est que ça” eight words, five syllables.


To join the chorus, ANY noun can be made into a contraction with an apostrophe-s. In those cases, the apostrophe-s usually means “is” or “has.” Both sentences in the OP are unambiguously correct. The only difference is the tone. The first sentence is standard, formal writing and speaking. The second sentence has a colloquial, less formal tone to it. That’s it.

Sorry, but the apostrophe in That’s implies something that belongs to That. It does not mean it’s or it is. Therefore, That’s it would be correct if you want to say that it belongs to That but That’s it (as a stand-alone sentence) is nonsense.


I was impressed with that, too!

Are you serious? Any native English speaker is overwhelmingly familiar with that’s as a contraction for that is. It’s and it is have nothing to do with this, and I have to wonder why you even mentioned them. “That’s it” simply means “that is it.” It’s perfectly correct and quite common. Other examples of this use of that’s include “that’s the ticket,” “that what he said,” and “that’s the way I like it.” The apostrophe in that’s most certainly does NOT represent possession/belonging in this context and it’s absolutely ludicrous to assert that it does. What have you been smoking, dude?