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July 27, 2013

Its, It's Or Its'?

Every language, I presume, has punctuation marks as well as vocabulary and grammar to master. In English, commas and end punctuation are fairly easy to keep straight. Apostrophes, on the other hand....

...can be quite confusing.

It all depends on what you are trying to say. Did you intend to show possession? Or use a contraction? Or did you intend to use the apostrophe to indicate a letter (or sometimes number) left out?

Those are the three basic uses for apostrophes. For an easy and direct explanation of apostrophes, check out this website - http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe.

The Purdue OWL site always has great background on grammar usage. Here's their page on apostrophes - http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/621/01/.

And if you are looking for an authoritative source on grammar, you can't beat The Oxford Dictionary. Here's their page on apostrophes - http://oxforddictionaries.com/words/apostrophe.

And if you have difficulty with apostrophes, it might be good to know that you are not alone. In fact many large business and government agencies (who should know better) have trouble with apostrophes. Here is a blog dedicated to apostrophe disasters - http://www.apostrophecatastrophes.com/.

All I can say is, tread carefully through this language, and be sure to send me any language usages or historical nuances that interest you, and be sure to let me know what it is about language learning that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

Morf

Also: for the first time in several years, Morf is available this August to visit your school or program, or even host or be a guest on your radio program. You can contact him at mmorf@mail.com. As you can probably guess, Morf can talk or teach about just about anything related to language learning, linguistics and cultural changes.

Posted by mmorf at July 27, 2013 10:17 PM

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