English Grammar Rule: Pronunciation of Illinois

The final S in the state of Illinois is silent. The ending sound should rhyme with boy, toy, soy. The state’s final syllable should NOT rhyme with noise. And for those trivia buffs out there: Illinois was a tribe of Native American Indians. They were known as Illinois or Illiniwek Indians who occupied a large portion of the Mississippi River valley. They were indispensable allies of French fur traders and colonists who came to live in the area now known as the Midwestern United States.

English Grammar Rule - Its or It's

IT'S = IT IS, always. When you use IT'S - with an apostrophe, it means IT IS. ALWAYS, NO MATTER WHAT.

Examples (the first two are incorrect; the last three are correct):

The dog lost it's (it is) bone.
The site is notable for it's (it is) collection.
It's (it is) a story of two cities.
We think it's (it is) easy.
It's (it is) only a dream.

I do understand why people do this: that fuzzy rule about possession, i.e., use an apostrophe to show ownership.

Its = possessive pronoun, that means it was created specifically so that you wouldn't have to use an apostrophe to show ownership.

Examples:
The dog lost its bone.
The site is notable for its extensive collection of links to resources.

It's not so difficult, is it?

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English Grammar Rule - Broke and Broken

If you break something, it’s broken, not broke.

When you spend all your money, you're broke, not broken.

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English Grammar Rule - All together or Altogether?

The word “altogether” means “completely” or “entirely.”

For example: When I first started teaching, I was altogether baffled.

The words “all together” mean “in a group.”

For example: The students were all together in the hall.

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