In last week?s blog, I looked at Possessive Apostrophes? which should only ever be used to indicate ownership (not plurals!!)
The general rule being that the apostrophe be added either before or after an ?s?, depending on whether the noun is singular or plural.
That was all fairly straightforward ? even with the Joneses.
But just to throw a spanner in the works, there?s a whole bunch of possessive nouns which require no apostrophe at all. The obvious ones include:
After all, to indicate a possessive noun, you add an apostrophe and an ?s? after the word ? right?
The problem is “it?s“?is actually a contraction of it is?or it has.
When using it?as a possessive noun, you drop the apostrophe and apply it to the same category as his, hers, theirs, or ours.
Eg. It?s a shame it?s lost all of its nasty big teeth..!
Which in its full form would read:?It is a shame it has lost all of its nasty big teeth..!
So what about who?
Well again, you don?t use a possessive apostrophe with who. When you need to use?who?as a possessive noun, the correct word is whose.
Eg. Whose annoying talking donkey is this? (Keep an eye out for a cantankerous green ogre hiding behind a tree.)
Who?s?is yet another contraction using is?or has.
Eg. Who?s got a roll of gaffa-tape to shut this damn donkey up?!!!
So the next time you?re pondering whether to add a possessive apostrophe to it?or who, ask yourself it the sentence would still make sense if you added is?or has?after it.
If not, then get rid of it. It doesn’t belong.