[Grammar] Grammar

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John Carter

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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!!
 

Barb_D

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Hello John, and welcome to Using English.

Can you be more specific?

Do you mean "its" and "their"?
 

5jj

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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.
 

hombre viejo

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*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"
 

5jj

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*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'.
 

hombre viejo

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*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.
[h=2]their[/h] /ðɛər; unstressed ðər/ 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
 

5jj

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*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.
 

Barb_D

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However, the original question was about "their" and "it" not "its" -- so I'm a bit confused.
 

hombre viejo

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*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.
 

5jj

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- 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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