“Would you please say a few kind words to those of my otherwise erudite friends who constantly confuse the possessive pronoun ‘its' with the contraction ‘it's'?” requested Jerry Betts of Stillwater, who had just brought his car to Curly's Soonerco for its regular oil change.
“I can't bring myself to correct them and maintain a place of esteem in their eyes,” Jerry told Buck, “but to tell you the truth, it's driving me crazy.”
Buck sympathizes. People in general — erudite and unschooled alike — have trouble learning the difference between a contraction and a possessive involving pronouns.
An apostrophe can indicate either a possessive or a contraction. In a contraction, the apostrophe takes the place of missing letters. In “you've,” for instance, the apostrophe takes the place of the letters “ha” in “have.”
Nouns normally form their possessives by adding an apostrophe and “s” to the singular and just an apostrophe to plurals ending in “s.”
The personal pronouns are different.
The possessive of “it” is “its.” The possessive of “he” is “his.”
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