Thursday, February 17, 2011

❏This vs That ❐: ✎ Its vs. It's

Welcome to Thursday's

This one is real easy yet, once again, so many people misuse them constantly.


Its is the possessive form of "it."

That's an interesting device - what is its purpose?
I saw Les Misérables during its initial run.
This stove has its own timer.
The bird lost some of its feathers.
Where is its head office?
It's is a contraction of "it is" or "it has."

It's time to go.
Do you think it's ready?
I read your article - it's very good.
Do you know where my purse is? It's on the table.
It's been a long time.
The confusion between it's and its occurs because on virtually every other word 's indicates possession, so English speakers naturally want to use it's to mean "something belonging to it." But it's is only used when it's a contraction of it is or it has.

The ironclad rule - no exceptions - is that if you can replace the word with "it is" or "it has," use it's. Otherwise, it's always its.


Today's Grammar Blooper:

Can you spot the error?


  1. :D.....Where ever.

  2. Nice try, but no. I can see where people would think wherever is 2 words, but it is one, just like whenever, and however.

    Try again. *smiles*


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