Top Tip Of The Week

It’s Or Its?

We’re taught that an apostrophe should be used to indicate ownership e.g. ‘Sarah’s handbag’ tells us that the handbag belongs to Sarah. So surely the same applies the ‘it’s’? The answer is no (I know, our crazy English language!). So, the rule is, when using ‘its’, no apostrophe is necessary for ownership. Here are some examples:

  • The cat stuck out its tongue
  • The door creaked open on its hinges
  • The car flashed its lights

However, an apostrophe is required when ‘it’s’ is a contraction. In this case, ‘it’s’ is short for ‘it is’ and the apostrophe replaces the missing ‘i’ of ‘is’. Some examples for you:

  • It’s is a good idea to write something every day.
  • It’s raining outside.
  • When sending work out to an editor, it’s best to type in double spacing.

Someone’s pleased it’s Friday! Have a good weekend everyone ๐Ÿ™‚


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12 Responses to Top Tip Of The Week

  1. Christine Steenfeldt says:

    Succinctly put! I always found it counter-intuitive that ‘its’ didn’t take an apostrophe in the possessive but someone helpfully pointed out that it’s a possessive pronoun, like ‘his’ and hers’ and they don’t have apostrophes either.That’s helped me remember.

  2. thank you for this lesson in grammar, much appreciated.

  3. mihrank says:

    wow – so beautiful!

  4. Kev says:

    Good post! You should do another post on other uses of the apostrophe. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Like replacing missing consonants and the structure of unusual words…don’t forget to dot your i’s and t’s ๐Ÿ˜‰

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