A common grammar mistake is to confuse it’s vs. its. There is no difference in the sound, so many people have difficulty in choosing the correct form when writing. We see this mistake a lot in email blasts, website copy, social media and more. Here are some easy ways to clear up the confusion.
It’s has an apostrophe and is a contraction for it is or it has.
- It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you. (It’s is a contraction for it has.)
- It’s time for lunch. (It’s is a contraction for it is.)
The other form of its has no apostrophe and is a possessive pronoun. Use its when talking about something belonging to it.
- Don’t judge a book by its cover.
- The company revealed its new design.
How to choose the correct form (It’s vs. Its)
Replace it’s/its with it is or it has in your sentence. If this makes sense, use the form with an apostrophe (it’s). If it doesn’t make sense, then you should use the form without an apostrophe (its).
- It has been a long time. (It has works in this sentence, so use it’s – with an apostrophe.)
- It is time for lunch. (It is works in this sentence, so use it’s – with an apostrophe.)
- Don’t judge a book by it is cover. (It is doesn’t work here, so use its – no apostrophe.)
Set up your word processing software to search for it’s and its. Then, try the it is/it has test on each occurrence. Then, you’ll never have to worry about this grammar mistake again.
If you need a little help to improve your marketing writing and results, contact PUMC.