Today’s 5 Minute Grammar Lesson is a very serious topic. It’s one of the biggest grammar fails I see. Do yourself a HUGE favor and learn when to use IT’S, ITS, and ITS’. You will gain so much writing credibility. For REALS!
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5 Minute Grammar Lesson – IT’s or ITS or ITS’?
I’m thoroughly convinced a good 85% of the US population does not understand when to use IT’S, ITS, and ITS’. And here’s my confession: until I started teaching COLLEGE level composition classes, I’m not sure I understood either.
But here’s the deal.
You wouldn’t say HIS’S to make His possessive would you? How about MY’S? And you shouldn’t say IT’S to notate possession either.
IT’S is a contraction that means IT IS. It is never, ever, ever, ever, EVER used to make the pronoun IT possessive.
If you want to use It’s – do me a favor. Do a quick test. Can you substitute IT IS and still have your sentence make sense? If not, DON’T USE IT!
For instance, I saw a BILLBOARD (imagine the expense this company went to to have this billboard made) recently on my drive back to Iowa from Missouri. It said:
“Deer Processing at IT’S Best.” My quick test will tell you that the billboard is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.
Deer Processing at It IS best? WRONG!
The billboard should read” “Deer processing at ITS best.” I debated on telling the deer processing. I wasn’t sure if they would bill me or send me some summer sausage. So I just kept my mouth shut.
But you might be bolder than I am and tell them! Let me know if you get some summer sausage from the deer processing company on Highway 61 in Northern Missouri!
Okay, so if IT’S really means IT IS, why don’t we use an apostrophe to make ITS possessive? You guys, I have no freaking idea. English is a really, really, really goofy language sometimes. But the truth of the matter is that if you want to notate possession, do NOT use an apostrophe with IT.
How did the turtle get inside its shell?
How did the dog find its bone?
Any you guys. Seriously. ITS’ is NOT A WORD. Never, ever use ITS’. Never. Just no. It’s so wrong. 😉
And that, my friends, is your 5 minute grammar lesson. Let me know how many places YOU see it’s misused. I guarantee if you look around, you’ll find plenty of examples!
Want more grammar posts? Here you go.
And if you’re looking for helpful grammar resources, here are my top picks:
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