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It's not possessive when it has an apostrophe!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by jubilee, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. Jamvic

    Jamvic Star commenter

    @nomad I actually found your explanation very informative. Ignore the naysayers.
    josiee99, BertieBassett2 and nomad like this.
  2. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Basically, in Middle English the possessive would be (for example) "Nomades post".

    Remove the 'e', replace with an apostrophe, and you get "Nomad's post".

    So the possessive form is actually the omission of a letter.
  3. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    In a pub quiz, perhaps.

    josiee99, Jamvic and BertieBassett2 like this.
  4. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    Now why didn't you just say that! I actually understand it now!
    border_walker likes this.
  5. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    What annoys me is when I spell the word correctly but get a red line under it because apparently I should be using American. Where will it end? Will I have to write aloominum instead of aluminium?
    smoothnewt likes this.
  6. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

  7. artboyusa

    artboyusa Star commenter

    I hate it when people do such thing's.
  8. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    In addition, in the early modern era possession was often written as ‘person - his - object’, for example Robert his book. This was then shortened to Robert’s book through the omission of letters and the introduction of an apostrophe. Women at the time, of course, took the lead from men.
    nomad likes this.
  9. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    You said that the only real use for apostrophes was to indicate a missing letter and then didn't apply that usage.
  10. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    No. Its colour is blue, not it's colour is blue and certainly not it's' colour is blue!
    nomad likes this.
  11. bajan

    bajan Occasional commenter

    It's also = it has
    anotherauntsally likes this.
  12. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Whilst I can see the logic in this (I have > I’ve, we have > we’ve, etc) it just doesn’t seem to work with “it has”.
    The dog has a bone.
    It has a bone.
    It’s a bone.


    That just doesn’t work.
  13. anotherauntsally

    anotherauntsally Lead commenter

    It’s been - it has been.
    smoothnewt likes this.
  14. Nellyfuf2

    Nellyfuf2 Senior commenter

    It's a bone - doesn't work.

    It's a nice day. That is correct. So does 'The Government has lost its way'.
    I can't think of any other examples of it's and its to worry about.
  15. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    Basically it seems to work when the verb “to have” is used as an auxiliary verb but not when it’s the active stand-alone verb in the sentence.
  16. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Not even needed every time.

    I was thinking more of the likes of don't / dont and can't / cant where the apostrophe changes the sound of the word.

    They're / their / there and you're / your, would take some getting used to but it would have virtually no impact to remove them there as well.

    I think the reality is that apostrophes of possession are on their way out and some omission ones aren't far behind.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  17. smoothnewt

    smoothnewt Star commenter

    It seems to work easily in the passive voice, on reflection.
  18. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    It's been a long time.
    It's broken every speed record.
  19. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    Vampire Weekend!
  20. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I invested far too many hours of primary school education, sitting in a stuffy Victorian classroom with the sun shining brightly outside the grimy fly-blown windows, learning the minutae of English grammar and punctuation to give it all up now!
    Jamvic, smoothnewt, jubilee and 2 others like this.

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