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Charlene Tess

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How to tell a contraction from a possessive pronoun.
by Charlene Tess   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, January 05, 2006
Posted: Thursday, January 05, 2006

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Learning to use contractions and possessive pronouns correctly is easier than you think.

When choosing between (it’s/ its) and (who’s whose), always read the words containing the apostrophe as two separate words. When you do, the correct usage is obvious.

For example:

1. The dog hurt it’s paw.  -Or-  2. The dog hurt its paw.

Read the sentences this way: 1. The dog hurt it is paw. 2. The dog hurt its paw.

Obviously, sentence #2 is correct. "Its" is a possessive pronoun and has no apostrophe.


1. Whose the owner of the BMW in the parking lot?  -Or- 2. Who’s the owner of the BMW in the parking lot?

Read the sentences this way:

1. Whose the owner of the BMW in the parking lot?  2. Who is the owner of the BMW in the parking lot?  

Obviously, sentence #2 is correct. "Who's" is a contraction for the words "who is."


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