"It's" or "its" - Page 2

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Thread: "It's" or "its"

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by andrewclunn View Post
    It's bullshit that a contraction has precedence over an otherwise universally standard possessive rule. English, this is on you.
    No doubt! At least its vs. it's gives us something to squawk about; often this is the only error in an otherwise clean piece of writing.

  2. #12
    I used to struggle with this, and sometimes still lapse, so thank you for pointing it out.

    Thankfully Word and other up-to-notch word processing software almost always catches this now so I don't get how it's still a problem to be honest.

  3. #13
    When I have a moment of confusion I think of his, hers or theirs - which are possessive without an apostrophe - when I need to use its. It's always means it is to me, which is never possessive.

  4. #14
    I think it’s all about history and the way the language developed. In Middle English, the possessive form was shown by adding an s or an es to the end of the noun. I believe German still works this way.

    If you wanted to write about the hat belonging to John, you would say, Johnes hat.
    In Shakespeare’s day, he was still writing,summers flowers without an apostrophe.

    The apostrophe seems to have an uncertain history and it appears that it was simply introduced to make a distinction between the plural and possessive forms.

    All the so called absolute possessives: mine, ours, yours, his, hers, its and theirs still follow the old rule and have no apostrophe. This is perhaps because they are almost never used as plurals. The only time you add an apostrophe to them is when you are showing a contraction of a following verb.

    it’s not right = it is not right
    mine’s a pint = mine is a pint
    Last edited by jenthepen; November 30th, 2017 at 06:46 PM.

  5. #15
    That's really helpful actually. I use spell check but it doesn't give any explanations.

  6. #16
    Ah, the rules of English grammar. As well has been the bane of my existence as well since my childhood, a good, long while ago so I know where your voice of frustration is coming from. But I write to you with good news, that despite how you may feel right now, there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Because despite the dangerous paths and pitfalls of the rules and regulations I have somehow managed to survive and yes, even thrive, as so shall you. So, my friend, do not despair, you are in good company, and this too shall pass.

  7. #17
    Well, and I see now you started this post in 2017 so hopefully you HAVE overcome your grammar issues and are well on your way to that place of nirvana. I sincerely hope so. I wish you well.

  8. #18
    Sure is a fun conundrum.

    My second personal favorite is the comma.

    "John is eating, babies nearby..."
    "John is eating babies, nearby..."

  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Harper J. Cole View Post
    An easy way to remember this is to think of "its" as equivalent to "his" and "hers". None of these words take possessive apostrophes.
    As this thread has been reopened I think that it's (!) worth pointing out a real peculiarity about those pronounal possessives that Harper originally mentioned. The possessive adjectives, if that's the right term to use, don't necessarily have an "s" at all and it's the fact that "its" does that probably causes the confusion. Consider the following list of possessives to see what I mean.

    "my" and "mine"
    "your" and "yours"
    "his" and "his"
    "her" and "hers"
    "its" and "its"
    "our" and "ours"
    "their" and "theirs"

    It's "its" that stands out as the pronounal possessive most likely to be written wrongly. In comparison "John's" and "John's" is an easy rule to grasp.

    There is something that I dislike though. "London's rubbish." Ah well, it is by no means a perfect language but it is what we have to work with. Just be careful where you use contractions.
    'Sharing an experience creates a reality.' Create a new reality today.
    'There has to be some give and take.' If I can take my time I'm willing to give it.
    'The most difficult criticism that a writer has to comprehend is silence.' So speak up.

  10. #20
    As far as I'm aware, it's generally "it's" but can very much depend on whatever the situation is but it's entirely up to yourself to decide.

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