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Response to NBachers (Reply #42)

Sun May 3, 2020, 04:38 AM

45. Here's the best way I've ever come across to remember how to handle the "its" apostrophe:

You never "have" to use it.

If you want a possessive pronoun, the word is "its."

If you want a contraction, you don't "have" to use a contraction; you can instead use the two words "it is" from which the contraction is formed. Knowing that, you can then make the contraction "it's" if you so choose. But it is a choice. (See what I did there?)

[I've put "have" in quotes above because of course there are times you have to use the word "it's," such as if there is a need for informality, or you're quoting someone's speech, or if you're writing verbatim what someone wrote who made the mistake of putting the apostrophe into the possessive pronoun.]

The second best way I've ever come across to remember how to handle the "its" apostrophe:

The possessive pronouns are my, our, your, his, her, its, and their. There's also an “independent” form of each of these pronouns: mine, ours, yours, his, hers, its, and theirs. Think of the singular first person possessive pronouns: my and mine. They don't end in an apostrophe s. So, neither should the rest of the possessive pronouns.

Use this knowledge at your own risk.

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