by Davy Kraken
A library featuring commonly committed errors of the English language.
|Typically, when we want to indicate that something, physical or not, belongs to or is affiliated with a person or another thing, then we add an apostrophe and S after the owner: Kevin’s company or Katie’s creativity, for example. Following this pattern, if I am on the subject of the planet Mars, it seems I should write, “It’s moons are Phobos and Deimos.” But, as it turns out, that’s not correct. It’s is only used as a contraction for “it is” and, less commonly, “it has.” If we want to communicate that something “belongs to it,” then we omit the apostrophe and simply write its.
We don’t use an apostrophe for the possessive of “it” for the same reason there is no apostrophe in yours, hers, theirs, and ours. Those are personal pronouns, which refer to a specific person or group of people. When we encounter indefinite pronouns such as one and everybody, which can’t be applied to a specific party (even though everybody theoretically includes…well, everybody), we would use an apostrophe before the S to indicate their possessive.
It’s all Greek to me.
An animal known as a tuatara has a third eye on the top of its head.
I believe this is yours.
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