Thursday, November 5, 2009

Grammar on the porch #3

Is it just me, or do high school English classes slide further and further away with every year? Thank goodness I have "Grammar on the Porch". Good old Grammar loves to visit The Letterbug from time to time for a nice cup of tea and a natter about the English language. She knows we know - really she does. But just in case...

Image kindly supplied by Toni Grote - visit to see more of her beautiful artwork

It's vs. Its

Grammar loves to make you to look like clever young things every time you write. Today she wants to remind you that sometimes our use of seemingly harmless little words can be like sour milk in your Earl Grey to your writing. So, let's ensure we are using these two correctly!
Many people trip over the use of it's vs. its - so let Grammar explain it for you.

"It's" is a contraction of “it is” or “it has”.
- It's time for a Nanna-nap.
- It's a long way to the top, if you want to rock and roll!

"Its" is a possessive pronoun.
- This lamington has lost its coconut.
- My cat walks with its head (and tail) held high.

The confusion between it's and its occurs because on just about every other word, 's indicates possession. So we naturally want to use it's to mean "something belonging to it." But don't be tricked! It's is only used when it's a contraction of it is or it has.

Grammar's money-back guaranteed rule - if you can replace the word with "it is" or "it has," use it's. Otherwise, it's always its.

Now then, it's rather sunny on the porch this afternoon, and the sun is kicking out its summer-strength rays. Don't forget to slip, slop, slap dears....

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