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  1. #1
    TomKQT is offline Newbie
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    It's -versus- its

    Hello,

    i know that it's means it is or it has, while its is a possessive pronoun (my, your, his, her, its, our, their).

    But I'm still seeing its written as it's even by native speakers all around the internet (I know, internet is usually not a good example of a grammatically correct language, but...). I would understand it more if people were just too lazy to type the apostrophe and would misplace it's with its, but the other way around?

    So, my question - is it somehow correct?
    Is it possible to correctly say for example "The cheetah is known for it's speed"?
    And - how "bad" this mistake is, if it really is a mistake?
    Just out of curiosity, I won't use it myself.

    (In fact, it does give some sense, it follows the pattern Michael - Michael's; student - student's; it - it's.)

  2. #2
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Re: It's -versus- its

    No, it's just a common error as it's just a convention with little or no intuitive meaning. It is not correct, however, to use it's as a possessive.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is online now Harmless drudge
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    Re: It's -versus- its

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    No, it's just a common error as it's just a convention with little or no intuitive meaning. It is not correct, however, to use it's as a possessive.
    ... very common though. To quote Dave Barry (I think), for many people the apostrophe just means 'Here comes an s'.

    b

  4. #4
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    Re: It's -versus- its

    TomKQT:
    You're an academic and will move in 'educated' circles, and may submit papers in English. You will be judged. Maintain correct grammar, not what passes for English with ichatters and bloggers.
    It's = it is
    It's been = it has been a hot day - used with a past participle.

  5. #5
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    Nightmare85 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: It's -versus- its

    I really hate this mistake.
    This happens so often, especially to Americans and Englishmen, because many guys always use the it's instead of the it is.
    Therefore they quickly write it's and not its.
    (No offense, just a statement.)

    "The cheetah is known for it is speed"? - can this make sense? Of course not.
    Its is the only true here

    About this:
    (In fact, it does give some sense, it follows the pattern Michael - Michael's; student - student's; it - it's.)
    Well, sometimes it's better to not search logics :)
    (If someone's name would be it, then you would be right, but I doubt it )

    P.S: That could probably be the most common mistake.

    Cheers!

  6. #6
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: It's -versus- its

    A very good case for limiting the overuse of the apostrophe. Only use it when meaning would be unclear without it. (If you are a student and have to take tests, you are going to have to use it unfortunately).

  7. #7
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: It's -versus- its

    George Bernard Shaw tried to persuade people not to put in the possessive apostrophe, but this has not caught on. Nevertheless, if in doubt it is better to leave an apostrophe out than to put it in. This is because if you leave it out incorrectly this will be put down either to an oversight or to an affinity with the views of George Bernard Shaw. On the other hand, if you put it in incorrectly this will be attributed (rightly) to ignorance.
    Quoted from: The apostrophe

  8. #8
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is online now Harmless drudge
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    Re: It's -versus- its

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    George Bernard Shaw tried to persuade people not to put in the possessive apostrophe, but this has not caught on. Nevertheless, if in doubt it is better to leave an apostrophe out than to put it in. This is because if you leave it out incorrectly this will be put down either to an oversight or to an affinity with the views of George Bernard Shaw. On the other hand, if you put it in incorrectly this will be attributed (rightly) to ignorance.
    Quoted from: The apostrophe


    A lot of considerable men of letters have made a lot of fairly silly suggestions about spelling reform though! Good ol' Noah Webster suggested we drop the a from 'bread' (in an article in which he used the word 'bred' correctly as the simple past of 'breed' - I'll chase up the reference if anyone's that interested).

    b

  9. #9
    TomKQT is offline Newbie
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    Re: It's -versus- its

    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    TomKQT:
    You're an academic and will move in 'educated' circles, and may submit papers in English. You will be judged. Maintain correct grammar, not what passes for English with ichatters and bloggers.
    It's = it is
    It's been = it has been a hot day - used with a past participle.

    Yes, I know, I said in my first post I wouldn't use it even if you people said it wasn't such a mistake after all.

    Thanks everyone for your inputs, it is good to know how native speakers see this mistake.

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