Posts filed under ‘English lessons by Amy’

Grammar lesson: It's vs. Its


I swear I was an English teacher in another life.  I enjoy reading, spelling, and proofreading other people’s work just to find the errors.  I find it appalling that there are so many professionals who cannot put together an articulate and accurately-written email.  (The advent of texts and instant messaging has exacerbated this problem, but that’s another article for another day.)

Therefore, I feel it necessary to start a regular entry on grammar, punctuation, and proper use of words.  (It’s my blog, I can do what I want.)

Today’s lesson: The use of it’s vs. its

Which of these is correct?

  • Its raining outside.
  • The cat licked it’s fur.
  • It’s easy to mix up the use of its and it’s.

If you said #3 is correct, then you are right!  If you are using it’s in place of it is, then use the apostrophe.  (It is raining outside.)  If you are using the word to describe it as belonging to something, don’t use the apostrophe.  (The fur belonged to the cat, so use its.)

When deciding which word to use, say your sentence out loud. Sometimes hearing what you’ve written spoken out loud can help you notice wrong words, missed words, or stilted phrasing.  It’s a great way to ensure that your writing is accurate and conversational.


January 23, 2009 at 11:14 pm 4 comments

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