1. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    It's versus Its

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by guamyankee, Feb 18, 2011.

    What's the current trend for novels these days: it's, or its, or does it really matter?
     
  2. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    It's = it is.

    its = belonging to it.

    And yes, it does matter. There is a distinction between the two.
     
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  3. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    It's time to go.

    The dog turned on its tail and ran the other direction.

    OK, got it. Thanks for the help.
     
  4. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    Two thumbs up for Evelon. Does it matter how a chef uses garlic? Does it matter how a surgeon swings his scalpel? Using words properly always matters, and should have particular worth to writers. Mistakes happen, and we all have our own little blind spots concerning proper usage, but getting it right is the difference between writing in a journal, ranting in a vanity blog, and perhaps, maybe, someday getting published.
     
  5. ShortBus
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    ShortBus Member

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    what about its'
     
  6. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    I didn't mean it in the sense of "who cares?" The intent of the question was, "Are it's and its interchangeable?" Of course I want to follow the rules!
     
  7. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    "It" is a singular noun, therefore I don't believe its' should ever be used in a sentence.
     
  8. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    There is a place for its (no apostrophe after the s). It shouldn't be used often, but there are times:

    The dog ran after its ball.

    Unless you are prepared to ascertain the sex of the dog, then 'its' is appropriate.
     
  9. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Yes, I was referring to the proposed use of ( its' ).
     
  10. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    It's - don't - wasn't - haven't - are contractions.
    The apostrophe is there to show the missing letter.
    In full they read as - it is - do not - was not - have not.
    If in doubt say it out loud.

    No such thing as its'.

    an example
    The dog ate it's bone. This is clearly wrong. If you remove the apostrophe and replace it with a letter you will get. The dog ate it is bone.
    Therefore: 'The dog ate its bone', must be correct.

    Contractions are often used because that is the way we speak.

    The modern child would not say 'Mother, I do not like it.'
    They would probably say. 'Mum, I don't like it.'
     
  11. Lodovicus
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    Lodovicus New Member

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    Thanks for clearing that up, my grammar is a bit dire at times. I'm halfway through a script and that annoying Paperclip has decided to stick a squiggly blue line under every "Its" it can find.
     
  12. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's an understandable confusion (That's it's meaning it is, of course)

    For example, if the ball belonged to Halcyon, it would rightly be decribed as Halcyon's ball.

    So, if the ball belonged to it, then it would be understandable to describe it as it's ball.

    Understandable, but unfortunately, wrong, because in that context it should merely be described as its ball, so as not to be confused with it's meaning it is.

    Clear as mud! ;)
     
  13. D.T.Roberts
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    D.T.Roberts Senior Member

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    I believe this horse is dead. You can stop beating it now :cool:
     
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  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    just think 'theirs/yours/his/hers/ours' and 'its' will make perfect sense...
     
  15. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Some of us can't get enough "its" talk, thank you very much!
     
  16. D.T.Roberts
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    D.T.Roberts Senior Member

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    I'm sorry. You can stop beating the horse. It's dead.:)
     
  17. lost123
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    lost123 Senior Member

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    its= possession
    it's= abbreviation for it is.

    Example
    it's time to go (it's)
    "Its shadow" (its)
    ANd yes It does matter
     
  18. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    I wish I could lock my own thread.
     
  19. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    "Its" is a pronoun for a noun that does not have a gender, such as "The battery lost its power." But I don't think its' is a plural, so adding a hypen after the "s" should not be used. I can be wrong though, so don't take my advice.
     
  20. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Okay, thank you everyone for the advice.

    I have no further "its" questions.

    Ever....
     
  21. Chudz
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    Chudz Contributing Member

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    I'd tease you about it, but I had to ask for the same distinction during my first year of junior college. :D

    The end result is the theory that only by not asking questions does one embrace ignorance.

    Cheers!
     
  22. guamyankee
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    guamyankee Contributing Member

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    Oh, I've got the knowledge now! Believe me, I'll never forget the its rule!
     

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