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Passions in Poetry

That's and This'

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Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
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Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


0 posted 06-01-2007 10:54 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

How come people almost never use a possessive s on the words that and this as pronouns?

For example:


That's owner and this' owner.


Although it sounds strange because we are so unfamiliar with it, I think it is a grammatically sound manner.


Ron
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since 05-19-99
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1 posted 06-02-2007 11:28 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

It's = contraction of "it is"
Its = possessive

That's = contraction of "that is"
Thats = would have to be the possessive form

The rule is to never use an apostrophe to form a possessive pronoun. Otherwise, you'd end up with amalgamations like her's and hi's.
Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
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Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


2 posted 06-03-2007 02:10 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

You are right.  That is a good correction.
ilsm
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since 04-13-2008
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3 posted 04-26-2008 08:35 AM       View Profile for ilsm   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ilsm

I think the answer is, neither "that" nor "this" have possessive case forms.
Essorant
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since 08-10-2002
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4 posted 04-26-2008 01:45 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

No they don't, but they originally did.  That (■Št) was originally just a neuter form of a the-word meaning "that or the".  The genitive/possessive forms for the word were ■Šs in masculine and neuter, and ■Šre in the feminine, and ■ara in the plural (for all genders).   The forms for the word this in the same cases were ■isses, ■isse, and ■issa.

The word it doesn't have a different "form" either, but we just add a genitive ending s to it making it its.  Originally, though it did have a different form that was exactly the same as the genitive/possessive for he, that is, his!  The form his was normally used throughout premodern English for "its".  

ilsm
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since 04-13-2008
Posts 62
UK


5 posted 04-26-2008 07:16 PM       View Profile for ilsm   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ilsm

How the language has changed over time.  Words and word forms that were useful once have disappeared.  Grammatical gender has almost disappeared, case endings for nouns also. Verb endings have also changed over time.  I don't know how much improvement these changes are reckoned to have made, but I do know that it'd be hard work to understand someone from the Dark Ages now.  

There's a suggestion (I don't know how reliable it is) that the possessive form will die out entirely eventually, and we will use the preposition "of" instead, in much the same way as the French use "de".  If that's the case, to revive the genitive form of an archaic word would not last long.

I don't object to those words being given a possessive form, and you do hear children and even adults using "thats" (of that) sometimes.  I don't recall hearing "thises" - or maybe "thes"(of this), however.

But, if you are arguing in favour of a possessive for "this" and "that", what about other similar words that want a possessive form.  I can think of "some" as an example.

And I note the comment that pronouns in the possessive take an "s" without an apostrophe.  Who can explain why "one" in the possessive is "one's"?
 
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