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Is It "on It's Way" Or "on Its Way"?  
User currently offlineZakHH From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6939 times:

As the title says. English is not my mother tongue, and a quick online research did not really help me, as both variants seem to be used frequently.

So which one is correct? Thanks for your help!

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6930 times:

"It's " is a contraction of "it is", as opposed to "its" which is the possessive form of "it".

So the correct spelling would be "It's on its way".


User currently offlineMyt332 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 9112 posts, RR: 71
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6930 times:

Quoting ZakHH (Thread starter):
So which one is correct?

What the toff like surrender monkey said.  Wink



One Life, Live it.
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6923 times:

I would think that it would always be it's as it is contracting the two words: "It Is". I can't think of a way for it to be proper to say the "its" are comming, because then you should be saying they are comming.

User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2686 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6912 times:

Just to clarify JGPH1A's point, you would use "its" regardless of the subject. You could say, "The book is on its way." You don't use an apostrophe because it shows possession; the "way" belongs to the book, so to speak.

User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5577 posts, RR: 32
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6909 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
So the correct spelling would be "It's on its way".

JGPH1A points out the correct spelling, but I can understand the confusion for foreigners: the possesive form always takes an apostrophe, yet "its way" doesn't, obviosuly to distinguish it from "it's", ie the contraction of "it is".

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 4):
You don't use an apostrophe because it shows possession; the "way" belongs to the book, so to speak

Yet "it" is a pronoun, so why can it not have the posessive "it's"?

Can some expert expand on this?

[Edited 2006-06-12 13:15:38]

User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6900 times:

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 5):
Can some expert expand on this?

Where's Red-n-Gold when you need her?


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9487 posts, RR: 42
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6900 times:

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 3):
I can't think of a way for it to be proper to say the "its" are comming, because then you should be saying they are comming.

Um... okaaay.  crazy 

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 4):
You don't use an apostrophe because it shows possession; the "way" belongs to the book, so to speak.

I'm not sure that helps since you could then say "I am awaiting the book's delivery", where the delivery belongs to the book. "Its" behaves differently, however.

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 5):
the possesive form always takes an apostrophe, yet "its way" doesn't, obviosuly to distinguish it from "it's", ie the contraction of "it is". Can some expert expand on this?

Precisely and, no, I can't expand on that. It just is, OK?  Smile


User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6612 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6894 times:

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 5):
JGPH1A points out the correct spelling, but I can understand the confusion for foreigners: the possesive form always takes an apostrophe, yet "its way" doesn't, obviosuly to distinguish it from "it's", ie the contraction of "it is". Can some expert expand on this?

Some info here

http://www.sharpwriter.com/aaacontent/apostrophe.htm

Note that other personal possessives do not have an apostrophe

ours
his
hers
whos



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6884 times:

Quoting Oly720man (Reply 8):
whos

I thought it was "whose", as in "an idea whose time has come". I could be wrong.


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9487 posts, RR: 42
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6874 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 9):
Quoting Oly720man (Reply 8):
whos

I thought it was "whose", as in "an idea whose time has come". I could be wrong.

I'll go along with that.

Quoting Oly720man (Reply 8):
Note that other personal possessives do not have an apostrophe

True and a lot of people should note that neither do plurals!


User currently offlineOly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6612 posts, RR: 11
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6874 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 9):
I thought it was "whose", as in "an idea whose time has come". I could be wrong

Bangs head against wall.... you're right.



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently offlineZakHH From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 6844 times:

Okay, thanks everyone. Indeed, I used "its" all the time, but was confused to find a lot of sources that would use "it's" instead. Well, in Germany we call that "Deppenapostroph"...  Wink

Anyway, I should have written "on the way" - would have made things much easier... Big grin


User currently offlineCarmenlu15 From Guatemala, joined Dec 2004, 4748 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6814 times:

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 5):
Yet "it" is a pronoun, so why can it not have the posessive "it's"?

Can some expert expand on this?

I'm not an expert (heck, I'm not even a native English speaker), but from what I recall from my grammar courses...

Possessive nouns use an apostrophe; possessive pronouns do not.

Hope that helps...
Carmen



Busy being an 'immature troublemaker with only a passing interest in aviation' (or so they say)
User currently offlineBaylorAirBear From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2913 posts, RR: 50
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6808 times:

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 5):
Yet "it" is a pronoun, so why can it not have the posessive "it's"?

It's was already taken.

I hope Ba757gla doesn't show up with any advice.

BAB Big grin



I'm just skipping stones...
User currently offlineTS-IOR From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3417 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 6796 times:

Une fois n'est pas coutume the French JGPH1A explained it very well...probably because he is not from the Metropole  Wink

User currently offlineBraybuddy From Ireland, joined Aug 2004, 5577 posts, RR: 32
Reply 16, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6776 times:

Quoting Carmenlu15 (Reply 13):
I'm not an expert (heck, I'm not even a native English speaker), but from what I recall from my grammar courses...

Possessive nouns use an apostrophe; possessive pronouns do not.

Well your English is better than most of us native speakers Carmenlu -- I've noticed that before in your posts.

That grammar rule makes perfect sense, I can't remember it from school, but it explains the difference perfectly.


User currently offlineKaddyuk From Wallis and Futuna, joined Nov 2001, 4126 posts, RR: 26
Reply 17, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 6745 times:

Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 16):
That grammar rule makes perfect sense, I can't remember it from school, but it explains the difference perfectly.

English sucks the honoured male shaft... I much prefered Physics at school...



Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
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