Aww My Head Hurts! Use of apostrophes.

(26 Posts)
TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Wed 07-Aug-13 22:05:38

I have alway got them. I understand them. I know them. I preach them.

And then suddenly about a week ago, I looked at the word 'its' and I have forgotten how to use them. I mean, what the actual fuck? How can you just forget after 30 something years? I have been editing work for years. How can I just lose such a fundamental piece of knowledge; it's cement in my brain!

Yes, I know, I know - I have just used it. But, there are occasions now in the last week when I cannot figure it out; literally there is a blankness where concrete was.

My question therefore is:

"...it's website".

or

"...its website".

<panics over early loss of memory>

The first one. Since it belongs to the website.

*Since 'it' belongs to the website...hmmblush

Crikeyblimey Wed 07-Aug-13 22:09:27

It with an apostrophe is only when the apostrophe is for omission - when it means "it is".

What a badly written sentence that ^ is. Sorry.

shivs1974 Wed 07-Aug-13 22:09:29

I was taught that you only use an apostrophe to abbreviate "it is"...therefore I'd say ".....its website"

AnythingNotEverything Wed 07-Aug-13 22:09:53

I think you use an apostrophe when you're contracting "it is", but not to denote ownership.

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Wed 07-Aug-13 22:10:33

Thank you! I knew that. But, then I doubted myself once again.

I have been staring at that word for what seems like hours, thinking it looks wrong. Knowing it isn't, but still thinking it is.

What is that all about? Is this like a version of Writers' Block, but for editors? Editors' Block?

Crikeyblimey Wed 07-Aug-13 22:10:55

Nooooo!

Possessive apostrophises are never used with "it".

Its means something belongs to it all on its own. It's means it is.

Mintyy Wed 07-Aug-13 22:11:27

Only ever use it when you mean "it is". Not when it belongs to something. Easy peasy!

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Wed 07-Aug-13 22:11:53

ARGH!

see?!

grin Duuuur. It all makes sense now that you've all pointed it out so eloquently!

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Wed 07-Aug-13 22:13:23

So it IS Editors Block? See, I also knew it was wrong. But, couldn't figure it out!

I still don't believe any of you...

It's = it is

Its = belonging to it

When my head is concretey I can be caught trying to think it through: it's website...it is website...nah. I have a couple of decent degrees - one in English Lit but my 6 year old and I are on a par some days grin

These days you can just blame autocorrect for mistakes as it always adds the apostrophe!!! Grr.

Its.

:-) It is confusing. Because there is a possessive, there's a temptation to overcorrect. But 'it's' is always short for 'it is' so the possessive doesn't have the apostrophe to distinguish it.

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Wed 07-Aug-13 22:15:52

OK.

Run be by use of apostrophes and possessiveness. Is it only with 'it' that ' is not used as possession?

Its website
John's website

?
Yes?

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Wed 07-Aug-13 22:17:46

barbara the thing is, the autocorrect didn't change it, so I was like 'huh?' and then have spent god know how long going blind staring at it, doing exactly that 'it is website? nope, that sounds wrong. its website? nope, needs an apostrophe. it's website - it is website? nope sounds wrong...'

BOF Wed 07-Aug-13 22:21:43

Yes, you are right. You are just suffering from an early Senior Moment.

Do you forget what you went into the kitchen for sometimes too?

Its, his, hers - no apostrophe

John's, James', Doreen's - apostrophe

Redlocks30 Wed 07-Aug-13 22:23:56

Usually, you would use an apostrophe to denote possession, for example, the girl's shoe was dirty or the boys' toilets were new, but NOT in the word its. Never. Your second sentence is correct.

These are all correct...
The cat hurts its paw.
The dog sat on its cushion.
The bus crashed into its depot.

Theirs, his, hers ours are the same-there is no apostrophe needed.

Its is only ever it's if you could replace its with 'it is'.

It's a nice day.
It's great that people care enough about apostrophes to talk about them on mumsnet.
It's a shame that people still aren't sure when to use its.

Sorry about the last one-humour intended ;)

Does that make sense?

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Wed 07-Aug-13 22:24:56

BOF yes. Always. That's the first thing to happen I think isn't it? I also forget what I've gone into the supermarket for if I don't have a list. I forget words too - I speak and then a simple word like 'milk' completely pops out of my head and I am left pointing to the fridge doing miming type expressions with the person I am talking to, usually my DH, shaking his head and saying 'what the heck are you going on about love?'

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Wed 07-Aug-13 22:26:34

redlock it makes perfect sense. Now. I should think in about 10 minutes I will have to refer back to this thread when I come across it again blush

Thank you, and thank you to all for getting it straight in my frazzled mind.

I do that kitchen thing all the time. There's a reason for it, something to do with change of location changing your thought patterns - I forget the details though...grin

TheSunTheMoonTheTruth Wed 07-Aug-13 22:28:07

I call it Sleep Deprivation myself wink grin and I blame my 3.5yr old entirely. I also blame him for the sharp increase in my white hair situation.

colafrosties Wed 07-Aug-13 22:31:12

It's can also be short for "it has" - It's been raining all day.

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