Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It's vs Its

Don't run away!
I know you don't like grammar.
Oddly enough, neither do I.
But what I hate worse is seeing simple things like it's vs its wrong all over the Internet.
Even in published books!
Come on people.
This one is easy.

Oh, I know you have excuses.

"My English teacher was crazy."
"My dog ate my grammar book."
"I had a doctor's appointment during every grammar lesson."

Fiddle-dee-dee. You can still learn grammar, even if you were done with school before The Beatles were popular. Let's do it. Let's change the Internet.

Today we're talking about it's vs its because it is one of the MOST COMMON grammar mistakes I personally see online. If you aren't sure which is which, you may think that it takes extra brain cells, years at MIT, or a membership into a secret Grammar Society to know the difference.

It's not as hard as you think. Trust me.

It's = It is
Its = Any other usage

See? That was easy.

Hold on. Possessive you say? What about possessive?

Its = possessive.

Waiiit a second. Don't you usually need an apostrophe for possessive? Like David's bike or Larry's laptop? Yes, that is true. But think of what "it" means. "It" is not a person-- "it" is an object or an animal or something else. So it is different. Plus it would be confusing. It's is the contraction for it is, and that is how it is. Any other way you use "its" doesn't need an apostrophe-- even possessive.

Quiz time.
Underline the correct version of each sentence.

1a. He saw its bright light.
1b. He saw it's bright light.

2a. Its not true.
2b. It's not true.

3a. I liked its color.
3b. I liked it's color.

4a. She said it's a good movie.
4b. She said its a good movie.

Correct: 1a, 2b, 3a, 4a.

If you still need help with this, please email me or leave a comment. I'm glad to help.

1 comment:

  1. very cool. :) can you do effect vs. affect? :)