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Possessive Apostrophes: bottle-nosed dolphin

2 - The Grammar Bit

The Grammar Bit!

Read the three scintillating sentences opposite. Notice how the words in bold feature apostrophes to show possession or belonging. For example, the slope belongs to the shoreline  – “the shoreline’s slope,” the blowhole belongs to the dolphin – “a dolphin’s blowhole’’and the hunting strategy belongs to the dolphins – “the dolphins’ unique hunting strategy.”

With a talk partner, discuss the position of the apostrophe. Does it always remain the same? What differences are there? Does it change the meaning?


  • For a singular noun, add ‘s.
  • For a plural noun ending in -s, just add an apostrophe.

(Exceptions to this include pluralised nouns that don’t end in -s. e.g. men’s, children’s and women’s.)

Scintillating Sentences

1) Carefully, the dolphins scanned the shoreline’s slope for the safest place to pick the fish off the muddy banks.

2) A dolphin’s blowhole allows it to breathe in oxygen when it surfaces.

3) The dolphins’ unique hunting strategy is brave but also dangerous.

Did you know?

A bottle-nosed dolphin is born with hairs on its snout!