Thursday, December 3, 2015

Homophones: Possessive Pronouns vs. Contractions

Are you studying English? Then you have come to the right place... the internet! But... have you ever noticed: the internet has some mistakes!

Welcome to Correcting the Internet. I'm Mrs. Teacher.

In my last video, I talked about simple past tense. Let's look at a good example of simple past tense sentences from my number-one original fan, Heather! She has used simple past tense verbs to talk about our sordid past. Well done, Heather!

Today's topic is homophones.  
No, not homo-phobes, HOMOPHONES.
The Greek prefix "homo" means "same" and "phono" means "sound." Homophones are words that sound the same, but have different meanings and etymologies.

Mixed-up homophones is pretty much the biggest problem on the internet today.

Let's look at its vs it's

The first is a possessive pronoun. It doesn't have an apostrophe.

Other possessive pronouns include her, his, their, our, your... you get it, right? Any apostrophes in those words? NOPE.

So when "its" is a possessive pronoun, as in 
"here's a monkey and its banana,"
 it is spelled without an apostrophe.

So what about "it's"? It's a contraction. See what I did there?

A contraction has an apostrophe to indicate that a letter or a few letters are missing. Other contractions include she's, he's, you're, they're, can't, and shouldn't.

It's is actually two words: it and is. When we talk we're lazy so we reduce "it is" to "it's" and we spell this with an apostrophe to show that the letter 'i' is missing.

'It's' can also be a contraction for the two words, "it has": It's been a busy day for your friendly neighbourhood apostrophe! 

You shouldn't mix up its and it's.
*your

The internet's favourite homophone is probably your vs. you're. Now that we've talked about possessive pronouns and contractions, you should get the difference.
*your

One of these words is a possessive pronoun, and the other is a contraction for the two words 'you' and 'are.'


If you're not sure which your to use in your sentence, you can try substituting the words 'you are.'

So this is correct: "You're a great teacher," because you could say "You are a great teacher."
But this: "Your a moron," isn't. You ought to say, "You are a moron," so what do we need to use in this sentence? A contraction!

So that brings us to today's sentence challenge:
Choose a pair of homophones.
Write me two sentences in the comments below, one for each homophone.
If you write two correct sentences, I'll share your awesomeness in an upcoming video!
But be careful... if you write something silly, I will make fun of you.



Need a laugh? Here are more mixed-up homophones I found around the web. Enjoy!
You've gone "two" far now, Jimmy!

I bet your dog has better grammar than you, Highland Park Junior High sign writer!
I guess it's safe to say that 1D fans aren't homophone-pheliacs.
Okay, I guess this could be intended as a pun. But it still pisses me off!

Where's your apostrophe, 1iam5mith -- up your CRACK?




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