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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Indefinite Personal Attacks!

Have you attacked personal pronouns with apostrophes?  Have you armed yourself in a fight against apostrophes and indefinite pronouns?  Apostrophes can drive writers to word battles as well as madness. 

Here are two apostrophe/pronoun rules to provide your mighty pen with some much needed R & R.

RULE # 1.  Personal pronouns in the possessive case (his, hers, its, ours, yours, theirs) and the relative pronoun whose do not require apostrophes.

INCORRECT:     The books were her's.
CORRECT:         The books were hers.

INCORRECT:     The leopard can't change it's spots.
CORRECT:         The leopard can't change its spots.

INCORRECT:     Mary is the girl who's mother I met.
CORRECT:         Mary is the girl whose mother I met.

RULE # 2:  An indefinite pronoun (one, everyone, everybody, etc.) in the possessive case requires an apostrophe and an s.


     Each one's time is recorded separately.
     He seems to need everybody's attention.

*Note:  In such forms as anyone else, somebody else, etc., the correct possessives are anyone else's, somebody else's, etc.  The word oneself has no apostrophe.  Remember -- no one's perfect unless they use an apostrophe!

Grab your sword, I mean, mighty pen, and prepare for battle!  May the apostrophe be with or without you, depending on the case!

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