“𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗬𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀” 𝗼𝗿 “𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗬𝗲𝗮𝗿’𝘀” - Apostrophe Yes or No?
𝘐𝘵'𝘴 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳, 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘩𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴. 𝘚𝘰, 𝘭𝘦𝘵'𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘺 𝘦𝘹𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘴 𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘌𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘮𝘢𝘳!
It’s almost December 31st, so a new year is around the corner. We want to extend good wishes to colleagues, friends, and family but which of these are correct?
𝐒𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐰𝐞 𝐬𝐚𝐲 “𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫”, “𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫’𝐬” 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐞, 𝐨𝐫 “𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬” 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐞? Let's talk about that tricky apostrophe (or lack thereof) that confuses many learners.
As you know, 𝘌𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩 𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘸𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴: 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴. In the case of New Year'𝘀, we're talking about possession. In fact, the phrase is a contraction of both New Year'𝘀 Eve and New Year'𝘀 Day. These two sentences mean "The Eve of the New Year' and 'The Day of the New Year'.
Thus, the '𝘀 implies Eve or Day even when we don't say these words.
Example: New Year'𝘀 Day
Example: New Year'𝘀 Eve
The use of the possessive forms may be clearer in these two examples:
-New Year'𝘀 resolutions (resolutions made on New Year's Eve/Day)
-New Year'𝘀 party (a New Year's Eve/Day party)
We also use “New Year” in the 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘳 to bid someone a “Happy New Year” over this specific period. In fact, the term “New Year” refers specifically to December 31st and January 1st. So, the two days mentioned earlier are the “New Year” although it’s fine to say this for the first weeks of January as well.
Also note that English capitalizes 𝐃𝐚𝐲 and 𝐄𝐯𝐞 as they're the names of specific holidays like 𝐂hristmas, 𝐄aster, or 𝐇alloween.
- correct: Happy New Year!
- incorrect Happy new year!
- correct: I’ll be visiting my family over the New Year.
- incorrect: I’ll be visiting my family over the new year.
‘Happy New Years!’ is also incorrect because this S implies that you'd like to extend good wishes for two or more years. Instead, the term refers to a specific period as we mentioned earlier, so you need to drop the S.
If you're speaking in 𝐠𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥 about a new year (as opposed to the old year – the one that has finished), 𝐝𝐨𝐧'𝐭 𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐥𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬. Use lowercase letters when you're speaking in general and no longer about the specific holiday.
The following sentences are examples.
- I’ll visit my family more in the new year.
- I'm going to use better grammar in the new year.
So, 𝐇𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐲 𝐍𝐞𝐰 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫!
The English Coach
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