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  1. Anonymous
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    #1

    Can anyone clear up a dispute?

    Hi there,

    Just received a piece of work back, that makes up part of my degree, and I've lost marks for a couple of things which I'm not sure is fair! Not an English student so my knowledge isn't great and I can't do anything about the mark now, but it is niggling me and just want to know for myself! wrote:

    "The setting visited placed a prominence on the use of it's outdoor area."
    -I was told the apostrophe was wrong?

    "Although not witnessed occurring..."
    -I was told I should have used seen and not witnessed, is this a matter of personal taste, or was witnessed the wrong word and why?

    Thanks,
    Lil

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #2

    Re: Can anyone clear up a dispute?

    Quote Originally Posted by lillyuk
    "The setting visited placed a prominence on the use of it's outdoor area."
    -I was told the apostrophe was wrong?
    Apostrophe -s
    it's is short for it is. The apostrophe (') represents the missing vowel 'i'.

    ...the use of it is outdoor area. (Not OK; subject + verb))
    ...the use of its outdoor area. (OK; possessive pronoun)

    its, with no apostrophe, is the possessive form.

    Quote Originally Posted by lillyuk
    "Although not witnessed occurring..."
    -I was told I should have used seen and not witnessed, is this a matter of personal taste, or was witnessed the wrong word and why?
    I can't make out the meaning of the phrase '...witnessed occurring'. :? Do you have the entire sentence?

  3. TheMadBaron
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    #3
    This confuses a lot of people. We must use an apostrophe to indicate the possesive form in "Stephanie's watch", so why not "it's outdoor area?"

    However, there are other possesive forms that don't require an apostrophe - perhaps it's best to consider them as a group - his, hers, mine, yours, theirs, ours, its.

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    #4
    As regards the scond example, I would think that the writer's intention was:

    'Something that was occurring was not witnessed by anyone'

    in other words:

    Nobody watched the occurrence of something /what - is not clear from the scarce context/.

    If we knew the whole sentence, we might be able to tell whether it's correct or not.

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMadBaron
    This confuses a lot of people. We must use an apostrophe to indicate the possesive form in "Stephanie's watch", so why not "it's outdoor area?"
    :D Here's a simple rule of thumb: The apostrophe (') is compatible with nouns only. Stephanie is a noun, so add an apostrophe. It is not a noun, so don't add an apostrophe:

    If it's a noun, add ': Stephanie => Stephanie's (Noun)
    If it's not a noun, don't add ': It => its (Not a noun)

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    #6
    Nice post Cas!
    I'm not a teacher, so please consider any advice I give in that context.

  5. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Red5
    Nice post Cas!
    My thanks, then, to all who posted. :D

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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    My thanks, then, to all who posted. :D
    But of course. I don't think I've ever seen the rule stated quite as simply as your post. It's an issue I have problems with sometimes, so I'll be trying to remember your post in the future.
    I'm not a teacher, so please consider any advice I give in that context.

  6. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Red5
    I don't think I've ever seen the rule stated quite as simply as your post. It's an issue I have problems with sometimes, so I'll be trying to remember your post in the future.
    Gracious, you are welcome. :D Don't count on it. :( Chalk it up to auditory memory (i.e., it's/its). I've got problems with it, too--don't we all come to think of it--and, yet, I know the rule.

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