skip to content

Its, It’s and Its’

It is an indescript, general pronoun for any singlular,  something, animate or figurative.

If this something is doing something worth talking about, you can combine it and is to make the contraction it’s (i.e. “Hey, Honey, it’s about time to tune into the Weather Channel for the Local on the Eights.”)

If this something possesses something else, perhaps a dog and his bown or a fish and her bowl, then you show possession by using its (i.e., its bone, its bowl).  I know it seems like there should be an apostrophe, since it’s showing possession, but that’s just not how it works.  Sorry, black and white legalists.  Rules are made for exceptions.

You should never, ever, and also never, use Its’.  For any reason.  The apostrophe-s combo is reserved for plural possessives, and the very nature of ‘it’ is singular.  You cannot have more than one it.  Otherwise the word you want is theirs, a word that is inherently possessive and needs no apostrophe.  Just when you think you’ve got it all straight. Bottom line: Never its’.

And so there you have it, in case you’ve been wondering, and I only write little ditty this because many of you tell me you have.

Feel free to discuss over dinner.

Tricia Lott Williford

Comments are closed

  1. When I first read the title of the post, I thought to myself, I know how to properly use it’s and its, but I don’t know anything about its’. Glad there was a reason for that. 🙂

  2. Along with “lie” and “lay” (people lie, chickens lay) one of the most common grammatical mistakes. Helpful books: Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style and Lynne Truss’ Eats, Shoots and Leaves (The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation).

  3. I always get those messed up! My writing instructors at ACC thought I was crazy, lol.

  4. psst…check paragraph 3, line 1 😉

  5. Tricia,   Not often recognized, but I also love the in the form of the contraction of “it has” as in “It’s been forty long years…” 🙂 I hope this also comes up in dinner conversation.   Meghan 🙂

You Are Safe Now

Available April 9, 2024

This Book Is for You

Now Available
A book about falling in love with the Bible

Just. You. Wait.

Now Available
#1 New Title on Amazon in Christian Inspiration

You Can Do This

Now Available
#1 New Title on Amazon in Women's Issues!

Let's Pretend We're Normal

Now Available
#1 Bestseller on Amazon in Single Parenting

And Life Comes Back

Now Available
#1 in Denver Post: Nonfiction Paperback and Finalist for 2015 Christian Book Award
© 2015-2024 Tricia Lott Williford. All Rights Reserved. Site by Concept To Web.