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Thread: Grammar

  1. #1
    John Carter is offline Newbie
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    Post Grammar

    Dear Sir/Ma'am

    I want to know the use of their or it. While we make sentences or at the time of speaking.

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grammar

    Hello John, and welcome to Using English.

    Can you be more specific?

    Do you mean "its" and "their"?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grammar

    Please give a more helpful title to your next thread, John. Most of the posts in this forum are about grammar. 'Their or it'? would have been fine for this thread.

  4. #4
    hombre viejo is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Grammar

    *NOT A TEACHER* "Their" is a possessive adjective as: Their house is the biggest one on the street." "Its" is a pronoun indicating possession: Its beauty is breathtaking. Be careful to not confuse "their" with "there" or its with it's. "There" can perform several functions in a sentence but none of them are equivalent to 'their." It's, spelled with an apostrophe, is a contraction of "it is"

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    Default Re: Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by hombre viejo View Post
    *NOT A TEACHER* "Their" is a possessive adjective as: Their house is the biggest one on the street." "Its" is a pronoun indicating possession: Its beauty is breathtaking.
    If their is a possessive adjective, then so is its. The the words function in the same way in your two sentences.

    Personally, I prefer to think of such words as 'determiners' or 'possessives'.

  6. #6
    hombre viejo is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Grammar

    *NOT A TEACHER* They do have overlap in use and I agree they can both be classed as possessives. I'm not yet in agreement that "their" is a determiner by the rules of prescriptive grammar, but I see your point. The following is taken directly from Dictionary.com.
    their

    /ɛər; unstressed ər/ Show Spelled

    pronoun 1. a form of the possessive case of they used as an attributive adjective, before a noun: their home; their rights as citizens; their departure for Rome

  7. #7
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by hombre viejo View Post
    *NOT A TEACHER* They do have overlap in use and I agree they can both be classed as possessives. I'm not yet in agreement that "their" is a determiner by the rules of prescriptive grammar,
    My point was simply that, no matter how we label them (and I am not a great labeller), we need to use the same label for 'their' and 'its' in your sentences.

  8. #8
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grammar

    However, the original question was about "their" and "it" not "its" -- so I'm a bit confused.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  9. #9
    hombre viejo is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Grammar

    *NOT A TEACHER* I'm also not a careful reader. Barb_D is correct and I apologize for initiating confusion. Since 5jj weighed in on what I wrote - I'll accept his opinion from the point of view of semantics. But to the question John Carter was apparently asking - both "it" and "their" are possessive references to something or somebody mentioned before or which was otherwise understood. (referents). I believe the examples I gave are correct in terms of the eight parts of speech as we know them here in America. Thanks for the corrections and I hope John Carter understands all of this.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by hombre viejo View Post
    - both "it" and "their" are possessive references to something or somebody mentioned before or which was otherwise understood. (referents).
    No.

    They closed their eyes.
    It closed its eyes.

    Whatever you call the words, the two I have coloured blue have possessive reference; the two I have coloured red do not.

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