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The Word is Photos NOT Photo’s

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The Word is Photos NOT Photo’s

I am the last person, according to my husband, who should be giving a punctuation lesson.  One of his biggest pet peeves is apostrophe errors.  It has started rubbing off on me.

As a result today’s quick tip is a lesson in apostrophes.

An apostrophe does not mean “warning – an ‘s’ is coming.”  It indicates possession or a contraction. Those are the only two reasons to use one.

If you have more than one of something it gets an “s” not an ‘s or s’. While this bothers my husband daily, the time it grinds on my nerves most is when photographers write the word photo’s (to mean more than one photo).  That is incorrect.  Please stop.  You do not need to stop for me. But stop for yourself.  It looks unprofessional.  I want you to gain respect from those who read your words, your blogs, your sites.  So make sure unless that photo possesses something that there is not an apostrophe anywhere nearby.

That said, remember my grammar is not perfect, actually not close to perfect.  And I get corrected all the time.  So do not take it personally.  Just fix it now that you know.

Happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate.


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  1. Meagan
    July 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm —

    Photo’s is actually correct in a sense (although admittedly it looks a little off). In the English language, an apostrophe in a contracted word signifies the omission of letters: i.e. can’t= can not, don’t= do not, y’all= you all (Southerners, please get this spelling right! Ya’ll makes no sense!). Although the word photo has become a widely used and accepted word, it was originally used as a slang term; it is a shortened word for photograph. Thus, when you omit the ‘graph’ from the word and add an s to signify plural photographs, it CAN become photo’s. Just sayin’.

  2. Hans Proebsting
    November 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm —

    But then … should contraction occur before pluralising, or after?

  3. serena
    January 2, 2013 at 9:24 am —

    An apostrophe is placed when it is used as an possessive or when lettes are missing from the word-two rules.

  4. August 23, 2013 at 4:37 pm —

    Hello there, I completely condone correct use of grammar but I always believed that the apostrophe in ‘photo’s’ indicated the contraction from photographs? Can anybody comment on this?

  5. October 21, 2013 at 3:42 am —

    Photo’s is grammatically correct because it’s an abbreviation of the word ‘photographs’. But ‘photo’ has been around a while, and as so many people stick in an apostrophe incorrectly when an ‘s’ is added for a plural, why risk looking like you’ve made a mistake?

  6. October 24, 2013 at 7:36 pm —

    You say “It indicates possession or a contraction.”
    Is the word not photographs therefore a contraction to photo’s is correct?

  7. November 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm —

    In dutch it’s foto’s so i understand if people from the Netherlands write down photo’s

  8. Stuballs
    October 20, 2014 at 3:54 am —

    Well, I wonder… if photo is a word then maybe the pluralisation should follow the pattern of other words that end with a consonant+’o’. Potatoes, tomatoes, tornadoes, echoes, embargoes, mosquitoes, volcanoes, photoes… 😉

  9. Tristan Kelly
    December 13, 2014 at 6:01 am —

    Actually, Photo’s is a contraction of the word photographs. Hope this helps.


    (Correcting American’s spelling and grammar since 1974)

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The Word is Photos NOT Photo’s