Seattle Seahawks Apostrophe Test

In Seattle, where I live, the entire city is fired by Seahawks fan fever. To wave a banner for our team to win tomorrow’s Super Bowl, I offer an apostrophe test. (What else can a business writing expert do?)

In the paragraph below, add apostrophes (’) where necessary.

Tomorrow the talented, young Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is up against Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. The Seahawks will need the strong defense they are known for as they face the Broncos strong offense. The teams are playing in New Jerseys MetLife Stadium, the home of the New York Giants, in what both teams fans hope will be moderate weather. What will Sundays game bring? In a years time, what will we remember the game for? Seattle Seahawks fans are hoping for a win to long remember. Go Hawks!

How many apostrophes did you add?

Before you scroll down to compare your revised paragraph with mine, note that I added five apostrophes.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is my paragraph with apostrophes added:

Tomorrow the talented, young Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is up against Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. The Seahawks will need the strong defense they are known for as they face the Broncos strong offense. The teams are playing in New Jersey's MetLife Stadium, the home of the New York Giants, in what both teams' fans hope will be winning weather. What will Sunday's game bring? In a year's time, what will we remember the game for? Seattle Seahawks fans are hoping for a win to long remember. Go Hawks!

Here is a sentence-by-sentence explanation:

In the first sentence, Seahawks and Broncos do not have apostrophes because they are being used as simple adjectives rather than possessive forms. (Compare "Seattle quarterback" and "Denver quarterback," which are not possessive.) 

In the second sentence, Seahawks is a simple plural, not a possessive form. Broncos' has an apostrophe because the form is possessive. Because Broncos is plural, the apostrophe goes after the letter s.

Third sentence: The first teams has no apostrophe as a simple plural. New Jersey's includes the apostrophe as a possessive form; the stadium is New Jersey's. Giants is a simple plural. Teams' has an apostrophe after the s because it is a plural form; that is, it refers to both teams.  

Fourth sentence: Sunday's is a singular possessive form.

Fifth sentence: Although year's may not seem like a possessive form, it is. The time of a year is a year's time, just the way the face of your father is your father's face.

Sixth sentence: Again Seahawks is an adjective rather than a possessive form. Just as "Seattle fans" does not require an apostrophe, neither does "Seahawks fans."

Final exclamation: I suppose you could insert an apostrophe before Hawks if you really wanted to–to show that the letters S-e-a have been omitted. But that seems fussy. Hawks is clearly a nickname.

Go Seahawks!

Do you want to win in punctuation? Take our online self-study course Punctuation for Professionals.

Lynn
Syntax Training

12 COMMENTS

  1. Forgive me, Lynn, but I’m still not sure I understand why there is no apostrophe after “Seahawks” and “Broncos” when describing their quarterbacks, but there is an apostrophe after the “s” in “Broncos” when describing their offense. Can you possibly elaborate a bit more on the difference there?

    And also- way to go, Seahawks! 🙂

  2. Hi, Lisa Marie. Thanks for the question and the congratulations.

    The word “the” makes the difference:

    Seahawks quarterback (adjective)
    the Seahawks’ quarterback (possessive adjective)

    Compare:
    –team spirit (adjective)
    –the team’s spirit (possessive adjective)

    –boys shoes (adjective)
    –the boys’ (or boy’s) shoes (possessive)

    Does it make sense now?

    Lynn

  3. Thanks for the explanation, Lynn! I never would have made the connection that the word “the” makes the difference, but once you explain it that way, it does make sense.

  4. The first sentance tripped me up as well. Your explanation really helps. That’s an appostrophe error I can now corrext in my writing.

    Thanks Much and Congrats Seahawks.

    Lisa Smith

  5. If Seahawks quarterback is used as an adjective in the first sentence, wouldn’t you insert a comma between two adjectives (young and Seahawks quarterback)?

  6. Hi, Joe. Good question. We do not use that comma when we would not insert “and” between the two words. Because we would not write “young and Seahawks quarterback,” we don’t use the comma.

    Here are two similar examples:

    –He drives an old, gas-guzzling Ford truck.

    –This new, updated Dell computer is on sale.

    I hope my response has answered your question.

    Lynn

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here