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Grammar Guide 23 - Apostrophes, Contractions, and the dreaded Its versus It's


Myr

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Welcome to a new week for Grammar Guides!  This week is all about the humble apostrophes their main usages and the one of the most messed up set of words in the English language.

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Apostrophes are punctuation marks that are used in three primary ways:

  1. Contractions - uses an apostrophe to replace missing letters in combined words such as "They are" being replaced by "They're"
  2. To Show Possession - Uses an apostrophe to show ownership.  ex: The cat's ball.  The cats' balls.
  3. To make a plural in special circumstances. The most common is when we are making plurals of letters or numbers as: 2's, 3's, i's, and t's

 

old school burn GIF by Leon

The Dreaded Its vs It's

"It" and the apostrophe drive people bonkers.  Because English.  Unlike all other situations where 's shows possession, 's with it is a contraction.  Its is the possessive form of it.

Contraction: It's the butler! (quick check: it's is a stand in for "it is")
Possession: A cat is its own master. (quick check: it is makes no sense here, so "its" it.)

 

  • References:
    • Kern, Jara. (2020). The Infographic Guide to Grammar. Adams Media
    • Venolia, Jan. (2001). Write Right! (4th ed.). Ten Speed Press
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I feel a glare directed at me.

Embarrassed Cat GIF

I do what I can but the two families's house  or however it's correctly done is too much.

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12 minutes ago, Aditus said:

I feel a glare directed at me.

Embarrassed Cat GIF

I do what I can but the two families's house  or however it's correctly done is too much.

:gikkle:  It's not directed at you :hug:  

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