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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    simple qustion

    can anyone explain to me how could " its " be a pronoun please?

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    #2

    Re: simple qustion

    "Its" is the third person possessive pronoun.

    Like: Open up your new computer but make sure to save its packaging in case you need to return it.

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    #3

    Re: simple qustion

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    "Its" is the third person possessive pronoun.

    Like: Open up your new computer but make sure to save its packaging in case you need to return it.
    Actually, "its" in your example would be considered a possessive adjective. There would be little, if any, use of "its" as a possessive pronoun. The possessive pronouns, of course, are: mine, yours. his, hers, theirs, ours.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: simple qustion

    The use of "its" as a possessive pronoun can lead to a rather odd sentence. Here is a scenario:

    You are at a friend's house. Your friend has a dog. For some reason, your friend does not know whether her dog is a male or a female. Consequently, she refers to her dog as "it". On the floor, you see a bright red rubber ball.

    You: Is this your son's ball?
    Friend: No. It's not his.
    You: Is it yours?
    Friend: No. It isn't mine either.
    You: Whose is it?
    Friend (pointing at the dog): It's its.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: simple qustion

    I was always taught that my, your, his, its in 'Have you seen ... new coat?' were possessive adjectives - they functioned in a similar way to adjectives. Mine, yours, his, its in, "Here is Mary's coat; where is ...?' were possessive pronouns - they stood in place of a noun.

    I then discovered some American school grammars in which both forms were called possessive pronouns. In 'his coat', his stands for the noun John's (for example); in 'Whose coat is this? It is his', his stands for John's (coat).

    The current situation in Britain appears to be that the first group are now called (possesive) determiners, the second group possessive pronouns.

    As both billmcd and emsr2d2 noted, the possessive pronoun its rarely used. The possessive determiner/adjective its is quite common. Note that neither form has an apostrophe. It's is used only as a contracted form of it is or it has.

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