Grammar Wednesday

I owe California Teacher Guy an apology.

CTG is one of the most ardent supporters of Grammar Wednesday (along with Kizz, who also sends me great material and ideas for this feature).  A few weeks ago, he sent me a great GW post, but in the hustle of the last weeks of school – both for my college and for my daughters – I forgot about the email and posted something else last week.

Here’s what I missed:

My Dear Mrs. Chili,

Today we had to take a defective reverse osmosis system back to the
store where we had purchased it. That’s when I noticed the printing on
the box–and thought immediately of you. Knowing when to use “its” or
“it’s” is something a lot of people still need help with. Perhaps
you’ll help them–again!

It occurs to me that this could also be a good candidate for The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks, as well.

Okay – once more;

ITS –  no apostrophe – is possessive.  In this case, “best” is a quality that belongs to drinking water, so we need a possessive pronoun; drinking water at its best.

IT’Swith the apostrophe – is a contraction that means it is or it hasIt’s best if you only drink water that has been properly treated.

Sorry, CTG.  Please don’t stop sending me stuff.



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6 responses to “Grammar Wednesday

  1. A perfectly lovely and simple explanation–thank you!

    Oh, and apology accepted, of course! 🙂

  2. Suzanne

    Here’s how I remember it (and explain it to my co-workers). You use an apostrophe when you are replacing the “i”. It’s like the apostrophe is standing in for the “i”.

    And “possessions” aren’t that important anyway….

  3. While we’re at it I’m having another moment where I’m seeing something that seems so wrong that I’m beginning to wonder if the world changed it and now I’M wrong. Feel free to remind me if I’ve asked this before, but I keep seeing it around. You WREAK havoc you don’t WRECK it, right?

    Of course when I read a story that often described nipples as TAUNT peaks instead of TAUT ones, I knew that was the world being wrong not me.

    And, on an old note, I figured out why I don’t like the new judgEment spelling instead of judgment. It’s Judging, Tinging, Whinging etc. so why do we need the extra E in judgment? It’s inconsistent and I don’t like it. (That’s what matters, right? That I, PERSONALLY, don’t like it.)

  4. Oh lordy, here’s another one from the comments section of another blog, the difference between throws and throes. Very different.

  5. Darci

    Thanks for the great and simple explanation. I always screw that one up when teaching it and have to back track and reverse it. With my middle schoolers that is like committing an act of treason – reteaching, a big no-no

  6. Love the picture of the box. I didn’t expect this to be a problem for native speakers. Your blog teaches me that not only in foreign high schools grammar is a major issue.

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