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Current time:0:00Total duration:3:15

Writing: Pronoun person and number — Basic example

Writing: Grammar

Video transcript

- [Instructor] In order for emperor penguin chicks to survive the harsh weather in Antarctica, its parents share the responsibilities of incubating the eggs and traveling to the ocean to gather food. All right, so let's look at the its right over here. Its parents. So its. Its is this right over here. Its is a singular possessive pronoun. Singular possessive pronoun, which is just a fancy way of saying it's referring to one individual thing possessing something. Now, here are we referring to one individual thing possessing something? Are we talking about one thing's parents? Well, let's look over here. In order for emperor penguin chicks, emperor penguin chicks to survive. So we're talking about many penguins' parents. So it doesn't make sense to have singular possessive pronoun. The singular possessive pronoun would make sense if it said in order for an emperor penguin chick to survive the harsh weather in Antarctica, its parents. If they were just talking about one chick, but they're talking about many chicks, so we're going to need a plural. We're going to need a plural possessive pronoun, and the one we would use is their. Their. So in order for emperor penguin chicks, so we're talking about many things, to survive the harsh weather in Antarctica, their parents share. So this is going to be their. Their parents share the responsibilities of incubating the eggs and traveling to the ocean to gather food. So that's this choice right over here. So once again, we rule out this one because that would be if we're talking about one penguin chick's parents. We're talking about many penguin chicks' parents. And so an it with an apostrophe s, you might be tempted to think that this is possessive. Even if you were kind of confusing it with it's right over here, this one actually here is the contraction. So it apostrophe s is a contraction for it is. And the way that I remember is its is like his or her. Its. You wouldn't write his like that. You would write his, or you would write her. And its is just if you're not trying to talk about the gender of whatever is possessing things. So her, his, its. In any of these situations, you wouldn't have an apostrophe. It's with the apostrophe, that is it is. Now, we already talked about their as being a plural possessive pronoun and the right answer here. And then you have there, which sounds exactly the same, but it is spelled T-H-E-R-E. And that one, you would say, hey, I didn't go there. It's a different word. It sounds the same, but it's spelled differently and it has a different meaning. And this is actually an embarrassing mistake that I've made many times on emails when I'm typing real fast. I'll use this for this. I'll use this there for that their and that their for this there. So always double-check your emails for that one. I know it's a mistake that I've done many times inadvertently. Anyway, hopefully you enjoyed that.