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LETTER: When to use its and it’s

Letter to the editor

To the editor,

As a retired English teacher, I am regularly dismayed at the misusage of some words.

Many people use pronouns incorrectly (“He gave it to Jim and I” or “Her and I are good friends”) but the most common mistake is assuming that the possessive form of “it” is “it’s,” easy enough to confuse, as possessive nouns use the apostrophe: John’s, etc.

However, pronouns don’t use apostrophes for possession: my, mine; your, yours; his, his; her, hers; our, ours; it, its.

The use of an apostrophe makes it a contraction of “it is.” Since I have seen teachers, principals and even journalists make this mistake, it seems evident that few know when to use the apostrophe.

Then again, it could have just been a typo.

Petrina Gregson,

Clearwater, B.C.

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