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  1. learning54's Avatar
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    #1

    Question on 'its' as a possesive adjective and pronoun.

    Hi teachers,
    If we are talking about the bowl of a cat are these sentences correct?
    Is this its plate? Yes, it is its plate.
    Is this its? Yes it is its.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Question on 'its' as a possesive adjective and pronoun.

    Quote Originally Posted by learning54 View Post
    Is this its? Yes it is its.
    That is theoretically possible, but highly unlikely. We'd be more likely to say just, "Yes (, it is)".

  3. learning54's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Question on 'its' as a possesive adjective and pronoun.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    That is theoretically possible, but highly unlikely. We'd be more likely to say just, "Yes (, it is)".
    Hi,
    Thank you for your reply.
    So 'its' as a possessive pronoun exists, but it is better to use it as a possessive adjective. Right?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Question on 'its' as a possesive adjective and pronoun.

    Quote Originally Posted by learning54 View Post
    Hi,
    Thank you for your reply.
    So 'its' as a possessive pronoun exists, but it is better to use it as a possessive adjective. Right?
    I'd never use it, and I can't think of a good use for 'its' as a pronoun. It's better to use the noun.
    "This is your plate. It's yours." Good
    "This is the cat's plate. It's its." Terrible
    "This is the cat's plate. It's the cat's." Good.

  5. learning54's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Question on 'its' as a possesive adjective and pronoun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'd never use it, and I can't think of a good use for 'its' as a pronoun. It's better to use the noun.
    "This is your plate. It's yours." Good
    "This is the cat's plate. It's its." Terrible
    "This is the cat's plate. It's the cat's." Good.
    Hi Raymott,
    Thank you for your reply.
    That's what I thought. To use 'its' as a pronoun sounds really bad. But it exists, doesn't it?
    It is much better to say, 'This is the cat's plate. It is its plate'. Right?

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Question on 'its' as a possesive adjective and pronoun.

    Quote Originally Posted by learning54 View Post
    Hi Raymott,
    Thank you for your reply.
    That's what I thought. To use 'its' as a pronoun sounds really bad. But it exists, doesn't it?
    It is much better to say, 'This is the cat's plate. It is its plate'. Right?
    No, that's not much better. That is the point I was trying to make. Use the noun.
    As 5jj says, it exists in theory - both the pronoun and the adjective. The pronoun is (almost) never used.
    The adjective can be used when it's not stressed, or when you're not identifying something.
    "Put the food on its plate." Good
    "The plate is its." Terrible
    "It is its plate." Awful.
    "It is the cat's plate." Good
    "Is this plate yours or the cat's? It's my plate. (It's mine)" Good
    "Is this plate yours or the cat's? It's it's plate." Horrible.

    If any native speaker does use its in this context, I'd be interested to know.

  7. learning54's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Question on 'its' as a possesive adjective and pronoun.

    Hi Raymott,
    Thank YOU for your reply. It is very clear now. No further questions at this point.

    Best,
    L54

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    #8

    Re: Question on 'its' as a possesive adjective and pronoun.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, that's not much better. That is the point I was trying to make. Use the noun.
    As 5jj says, it exists in theory - both the pronoun and the adjective. The pronoun is (almost) never used.
    The adjective can be used when it's not stressed, or when you're not identifying something.
    "Put the food on its plate." Good
    "The plate is its." Terrible
    "It is its plate." Awful.
    "It is the cat's plate." Good
    "Is this plate yours or the cat's? It's my plate. (It's mine)" Good
    "Is this plate yours or the cat's? It's it's plate." Horrible.

    If any native speaker does use its in this context, I'd be interested to know.
    Usually we refer to the cat as "he" or "she," so we might say "It's his plate."

    I agree that "It's its" sounds unnatural.

  8. learning54's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Question on 'its' as a possesive adjective and pronoun.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Usually we refer to the cat as "he" or "she," so we might say "It's his plate."

    I agree that "It's its" sounds unnatural.
    Hi,
    Thank you for you reply.

  9. Raymott's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Question on 'its' as a possesive adjective and pronoun.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Usually we refer to the cat as "he" or "she," so we might say "It's his plate."
    That's true. But all my points remain the same. Make it a book instead of a cat.
    "Whose title is this? It's the book's title. It's the book's." Good
    "Whose title is this? It's its title." Woeful.
    "Whose title is this? It's its." Execrable.

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