Reply Thu 10 Oct, 2013 03:32 pm
Hi,

I am writing a paper and am unsure of how to write a sentence properly.

The subtle nature of the novel may contribute to *it* being overlooked.

or

The subtle nature of the novel may contribute to *its* being overlooked.

Thanks and best,
M.
 
contrex
 
  3  
Reply Thu 10 Oct, 2013 04:10 pm
In formal writing we use the possessive form of a personal noun or pronoun in front of the gerund:

Mary's winning the contest gives us all a reason to celebrate.
Natalie objected to my borrowing her hockey stick.
Your leaving early was a wise decision.
The subtle nature of the novel may contribute to its being overlooked.

However in informal writing, there is a trend towards dropping the possessive before a gerund. We often use a simple noun or an object pronoun instead:

We celebrated Mary winning the contest.
Natalie objected to me borrowing her notes.
You leaving early was a wise decision.
The subtle nature of the novel may contribute to it being overlooked.

Sometimes the possessive is necessary to avoid ambiguity:

I am in favour of the candidate being interviewed on Friday.
(I prefer the candidate who has an interview on Friday)

I am in favour of the candidate's being interviewed Friday.
(I want the interview to be on Friday)
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 10 Oct, 2013 09:28 pm
@contrex,
Quote:
In formal writing we use the possessive form of a personal noun or pronoun in front of the gerund:


You actually had the opportunity to read this in another thread in 2011, Contrex. It seems that you have this stubborn bent towards remaining ignorant of the English language.

I've put the pertinent portion in bold for you to help you remember this time.

Quote:

http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~nunberg/fish.html

There Are No Postmodernists In a Foxhole

Geoff Nunberg
Commentary broadcast on "Fresh Air," August 20, 2002

Like a lot of my favorite stories, this one begins with a pronoun, this from an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education that quoted Harvard President Lawrence Summers in an interview saying, "I regret any faculty member leaving a conversation feeling they are not respected"

The sentence was tailor-made to bundle puristic panties, particularly given the context and speaker -- and in fact a few weeks later, the Chronicle ran an extensive diatribe from a professor of English who took exception to Summers' grammar. According to the writer, Summers should have said "I regret any faculty member's leaving," not "any faculty member leaving." And the antecedent "any faculty member" required the pronouns "he or she," not "they," (Modern academics are particularly attached to the "he or she" construction, which enables them to sound politically correct and pedantic in the same breath.)

...


In short, it was an utterly routine grammatical harangue, distinguished only by the speciousness of the occasion for it. For example, that business about having to use the possessive "any member's leaving" instead of "any member leaving" is one of those mindless superstitions that have been passed on to generations of schoolchildren at the end of Sister Petra's ruler. As the linguist Geoff Pullum pointed out in a letter to the Chronicle, if you really believed the construction was incorrect, you'd have to take a red pencil to Shakespeare, Milton, Jane Austen, and most of the other great figures of English literature.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 10 Oct, 2013 09:41 pm
@BigEyes29,
Both are fine, BigEyes.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 09:12 am
@contrex,
Gee, I wonder why an honest fella like Contrex hasn't shown up to deal with another of his many errors as regards the English language.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 09:30 am
@JTT,
JTT,

When it comes to language, it is amazing how similar your views are to those of OmSigDAVID.
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 09:33 am
@maxdancona,
But why is it that you lack the courage to discuss those language issues, Max. Also you lack the courage to discuss US war crimes and US terrorism.

What is it with you guys that you are so deeply enamored with the lies you've been taught?

You can't handle the language issues on one front so why would you consider opening up another.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Fri 11 Oct, 2013 09:49 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
When it comes to language, it is amazing how similar your views are to those of OmSigDAVID.


Om's views on language come from his American "education". Is that not where yours also come from, Max? Sig has as much difficulty discussing language issues as you do.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

deal - Question by WBYeats
Let pupils abandon spelling rules, says academic - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Please, I need help. - Question by imsak
Is this sentence grammatically correct? - Question by Sydney-Strock
"come from" - Question by mcook
concentrated - Question by WBYeats
 
  1. Forums
  2. » It or Its?
Copyright © 2024 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.07 seconds on 04/14/2024 at 08:52:44