Is there a post/FAQ here already concerning the dread "its"/"it's"?


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Thread: Is there a post/FAQ here already concerning the dread "its"/"it's"?

  1. #1
    WF Veteran Yumi Koizumi's Avatar
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    Is there a post/FAQ here already concerning the dread "its"/"it's"?

    I just default to its any more, and hope spell/grammar checker corrects me.

    It is (<--- safest) a blind spot of mine, like spelling "amount". There are brain cells that got smoked out in the 70s and never grew back.

    "Who needs proper apostrophes, when all you need in your vocabulary is 'dude!'?"...
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  2. #2
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    There's +this post here.

    According to The Elements of Style:

    A common error is to write it's for its, or vice versa. The first is a contraction, meaning "it is". The second is a possessive.

  3. #3
    It's means only two things: it is, or it has.

    Its is the possessive: its clothes, its hat, its fur, etcetera.
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  4. #4
    Media Manager sigmadog's Avatar
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    I used to have the same problem figuring out when to use "its" or "it's". I must have missed that day in elementary school. But there's an easy rule of thumb I now use whenever those brain cells malfunction: If the sentence works just as well with "his" or "hers", then "its" is the solution. Think of "its" as a non-gendered form of "his" or "hers" - no apostrophe needed on any of them.

  5. #5
    Until around twenty years ago, I used to write possessive "its" as "it's". I knew the possessive was usually indicated by an apostrophe, but I didn't know that "its" was an exception. I even had possessive "it's" printed on the bills for my customers.
    One of my customers was an English teacher who pointed out the error of my ways. I had no memory of anyone telling me that "its" was an exception until that day. I corrected it on the next re-print.


  6. #6
    Media Manager sigmadog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Istine View Post
    I knew the possessive was usually indicated by an apostrophe,
    That was where I always screwed up, too.

  7. #7
    Yeah, this was one of the things I used to struggle with even when I was writing essays at uni, embarrassingly

    I do the opposite to Sigmadog: every time I see "its/it's" and I want to check it, I just replace it with "it is/it has"; if it works, then I use "it's", otherwise I use "its".

    However, either way works well, IMO.

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