Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Things that I need to get off my chest . . . Incorrect Use of Possessive Pronouns vs. Contractions

For today's blog, I'm donning my schoolmarm hat. Don't worry, kiddies. It's short and relatively painless. Memorize the correct usage of contractions versus possessive pronouns, and you'll go to the head of the class.

1) Your vs. You’re—Your is a possessive pronoun. You’re is a contraction. If you can’t break down you’re into you are, you should use your. Examples:

Your daughter is beautiful.

You’re (you are) my best friend.

2) It’s vs. Its—Another case of possessive vs. a contraction. It’s is a contraction of it is. Its is a possessive pronoun. Examples:

My dog likes to lick its paws.

It’s (it is) cold out today.

3) Their, there or they’re—There is the possessive of they, there means in that place or some place, there is the contraction for they are. Examples:

Their cabin is up in the woods.

They’re (they are) going camping over there.

4) Whose vs who’s—Whose is the possessive of who and who’s is the contraction for who is. Examples:

Whose sweater is this?

Who’s (who is) going to the prom?


  1. Good point, Magda. Little grammar errors can dampen a story's aura. Spell check is no help.

  2. Errors like these really bug me too, Magda, also adding an apostrophe where there shouldn't be one e.g. 'Several week's later' or 'The Bartlet's were a close family.'

  3. Oooh. I teach this stuff to my third graders! It's always tricky for them...I guess for some adults, too!

  4. Hi Magda,

    Oooh, well, as saying goes, there be a book in all of us, but don't write one if yer bunked English lessons! Better still, don't pen nuffink, keep it verbal and daze they who be willing to listen. ;)

    Seriously, I get your point: top of the ladder, though, one mistake and a darn sight further to fall. It happens all the time in blogoland! Strange as it may seem, editors don't always notice them, either. Hence they make it to book format.