It's ITS

For me, September has always meant the first full month of school. And going back to school means putting effort into doing a better job of proofreading. It is so easy to become lazy during summer. We tend to forget spelling and punctuation rules while we’re in relaxation mode. So this month, I’m giving a few simple tips on stepping up our proofreading.

First, I’ll spend a little time on the use of apostrophes.

Which word do you use when you want to use a pronoun for an inanimate object which possesses something? For instance, the chair’s leg. The chair isn’t a he or a she. The chair is an it. The chair’s leg could also be written as its leg.

Too many people want to put an apostrophe in the word as if it were a proper name, like David’s leg or Terri’s leg. That would just be wrong.

When people scatter apostrophes through their writing, they need to take another look and realize that there are rules for using apostrophes. Yes, rules. And here are a few:

Use an apostrophe to show possession when using proper names, not pronouns. Susan’s chair was fixed today. Its legs are finally straight.

Do not use an apostrophe to show that a noun is plural. Wrong: The boat’s are in a race.

Use an apostrophe to combine two words into one contraction. She’s doing a fabulous job. I’ve already congratulated her.

Do not use an apostrophe by random selection just because you think it makes the word look prettier. Wrong: My balloon rise’s higher than your’s.

Does this help you?

Happy proofreading!

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