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The apostrophe is used to indicate two things: 1) a contraction, or 2) the possessive case. The apostrophe never indicates the plural form of a noun, except when forming the plural of a lower case letter (e.g., p's and q's).
A contraction is an informal means of shortening two words into one word. For example, it is becomes it's, have not becomes haven't, and you are becomes you're. The apostrophe indicates that letters have been removed to form the contraction.
The possessive case is most easily determined if you can turn the possessive into an 'of the' statement. For example, the textbooks of the student becomes the student's textbooks, and the feathers of the peacock becomes the peacock's feathers. The apostrophe indicates the possessive case. However, if the noun is an object, building, or a piece of furniture, no apostrophe is needed: the table leg. See the list below for how to form the possessive case for different types of nouns:
Don't use an apostrophe:
American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). https://doi.org/10.1037/0000165-000