IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN

Updated: Jun 15

It's Friday, so time for another Grammar Chat. Last time I took a deep dive into the differences between affect and effect, but this week I'm gonna go even more Basic Betty because even a cursory glance around the interwebs shows that a significant portion of Americans still don't know the difference between IT'S and ITS, and THERE and THEIR.


IT'S VS ITS

I think a big part of the confusion with this one is that normally an apostrophe signifies ownership, but in this case it's the opposite. IT'S is a conjunction derived from IT IS, and ITS is the possessive.


Example:

IT'S not too hard to see how the creature lost ITS footing on the slippery rocks.


THERE VS THEIR

This is one of the many funky quirks of the English language that really have no good way to remember, other than to simply memorize the rule. But THERE signifies a place and THEIR means "belonging to."


Example:

THEIR creature lost its footing over THERE.


If you insist on a mnemonic to remember this, here's an alright one:


THERE includes the word “HERE,” so it is in that place. THEIR includes the word “HEIR,” so it belongs to them.



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