Where does the apostrophe go, anyway? Does bad grammar make for unsuccessful dating? Why February 14th? And more from us to you this Valentine’s Day...

Is there an apostrophe in Valentine’s Day? 

To answer this, we have to look into where the term ‘Valentine’s Day’ comes from. Although shortened from ‘St Valentine’s Day’ to ‘Valentine’s Day’, it comes from St Valentine (a proper noun). The day is attributed to him, so we have to use a possessive apostrophe

But the word ‘valentine’ can also be used as a common noun. For example, if you’re lucky enough to be receiving ‘multiple valentines’, it’s correct to not use an apostrophe in that context. In this context, you also don’t capitalize the word. 

Does bad grammar make for unsuccessful dating? 

According to a study by the dating site eHarmony, people with grammatical errors on their dating profile are 14 per cent less likely to get responses. 

They also found that grammar is an important factor to 88 per cent of female participants in the study and 75 per cent of males.  

That’s not to say that spelling and grammar is everybody’s hill to die on — this being said, it’s an important factor in written communication in general. Luckily, spelling and grammar checkers are there to help us present our best selves. 

Why is Valentine’s Day celebrated in February?  

Not a grammar fact, just a fact for the curious. 

Valentine’s Day was originally a festival called Lupercalia, an ancient Pagan festival held in Rome in mid-February. It’s been traced back to the 6th century BC. It was a matchmaking festival thought to ward off infertility. 

So, although it’s now called St Valentine’s Day after a Christian saint, it’s thought it had its roots in Lupercalia. 

Even if you don’t want to sacrifice a goat for your date, they might want to learn some history. 

How to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in a different language

Maybe you want to write something a little different in your card this year or you’re writing to your valentine in their mother tongue. 

Here are some Valentine’s sentiments in various languages:

  • Arabic - Eid hob sa’eed, habibi (to a male), Eid hob sa’eed,habibti (to a female)
  • Dutch - Fijne valentijnsdag
  • French - Bonne Saint Valentin
  • German - Happy Valentinstag
  • Hawaiian - Hau’oli La Aloha
  • Indonesian - Selamat Hari Kasih Sayang
  • Italian - Felice San Valentino
  • Japanese - Shiawasena Barentainde
  • Portuguese - Feliz Dia dos Namorados
  • Mandarin - Qingren jie kuaile
  • Spanish - Feliz dia de San Valentin
  • Swedish - Glad Alla hjartans dag
  • Thailand - Sook San Wan Valentine
  • Turkish - Sevgililer Günün Kutlu Olsun (to one person) and Sevgililer Gününüz Kutlu Olsun

How do you say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in your language?

Laura Kelly

Laura is a freelance writer and worked at Readable for a number of years. Laura is well-versed in optimising content for readability and Readable's suite of tools. She aims to write guides that help you make the most out of Readable.