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It's vs Its

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I know that if it can be broken down to 'it is', you add the apostrophe...but regarding other applications, I've seen it go both ways (with and without the apostrophe) and I'm not clear on the distinctionredface.gif Any explanations?redface.gifsmile.gif

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Probably by analogy with possessives ending in 's. There is no apostrophe, by analogy with his, hers, yours, etc. and to distinguish the pronoun from the contraction it's ("'it is, it has'"). Note that the corresponding Old English and Middle English genitive form is his.

Its can function as either a possessive adjective or a possessive pronoun. Its form is the same when used in either case. While common as a possessive adjective, its is extremely rare as a possessive pronoun.

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Um, unless I am overlooking something "it's" is a contraction for "it is", and thus the apostrophe, as you said.

 

"Its" is the possessive form of it, as in "The fish bit its own tail".

 

Can't think of any other type of application for "its".

 

(Cross post with the above ^)

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View PostUm, unless I am overlooking something "it's" is a contraction for "it is", and thus the apostrophe, as you said.

 

"Its" is the possessive form of it, as in "The fish bit its own tail".

 

Can't think of any other type of application for "its".

 

(Cross post with the above ^)

 

 

 

I use "its" so frequently it's been bugging me.

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View PostUsage notes

 

Usage with words ending in "s" varies and can be confusing.

the dogs' tails (whereas for singular 'dog': the dog's tail)

  • Irregular plurals with endings other than 's' (e.g. children) always take 's :
the children's voices

 

 

 

If I am writing about the children of thousands of immigrants is immigrants' children incorrect and immigrant's children correct?

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View PostIf I am writing about the children of thousands of immigrants is immigrants' children incorrect and immigrant's children correct?

 

Usage with words ending in "s" varies and can be confusing.biggrin.gif

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View PostIf I am writing about the children of thousands of immigrants is immigrants' children incorrect and immigrant's children correct?

 

 

Immigrants' is correct when speaking of thousands of immigrants.

 

Immigrant's is correct when speaking of a single immigrant.

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