Two apostrophes after a noun?

ScottsEnglishScottsEnglish Administrator Posts: 1,249 admin ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
edited May 2018 in Grammar

Is there ever a time when you might use two apostrophes?

A student asked me this question in class when we were studying apostrophes. 

The answer is yes! But extremely rarely.

Look at the following sentence using the third conditional:

If I had been born in China, I would have spoken Chinese as a child.

This is an example of the third conditional in English - the sentence is impossible. I was not born in China and I did not speak Chinese as a child.

When speaking, you may say, "If I'd been born in China, I'd've spoken Chinese as a child."

'd means "would", while 've means "have" 

This can be difficult for the ear of a non-native speaker, who is listening for the words and not the abbreviations. And of course, avoid abbreviations in your formal writing.

Sign In or Register to comment.