It’s its purpose …

When it comes to apostrophes, “it” is probably the most misused, misunderstood, but ironically, simple usage in the English language.


In a nutshell … only use an apostrophe with “it” when it’s contracting “it is” to one word, “it’s” …

see, it’s simple (it IS simple)! Its usage (no apostrophe) is only confusing when you remember that the apostrophe, in other instances, is a way to signify possession: “She’s very good at punctuation.” Or “He’s a good speller.” But, when you’re talking “it,” the apostrophe never shows possession: “I love my new truck. Its truck bed is just the size I need.”

So, when in doubt, just see if you would use “is” in your sentence (following “it”) if you’re trying to use it’s or its. If you can use an “is,” then use an apostrophe. If not, you can’t. It’s downright easy to remember its proper usage.

Leave a comment 10 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Thank-you for this today because I am always wondering about that apostrophe. You have made it easy. Now if I can just remember what you said a month from now!

  2. Cindi Johnson says:

    I work with words and some days it’s astonishing how mind-boggling one itty bitty simple word can be. Then there is always my own dilemma of seeing a word used in the wrong way so many times that I can’t remember the correct one!

  3. Karlyne says:

    And next you can tackle “you’re” and “your”. And “they’re”, “there”, and “their”. Oh, that everyone would use them correctly! (I am not a grammar Nazi! Or a spelling Nazi! Or even a usage Nazi! Ok, maybe I am, just a tiny bit…)

    • MaryJane says:

      For me, it’s like looking at a painting hanging crooked on a wall. Makes me want to set it right. I try not seeing it to the extent it’s bothersome (or worse, having an attitude about it), but I can’t seem to let go of it. Ask me how much I love text speak!

  4. Nancy Coughlin says:

    Seeing our beautiful language misused is so frustrating. I shudder to think what will happen to the written word now that texting is here. Love the written word and also have a love of real books. Kindle is OK for traveling, but otherwise I want to feel a book in my hands. Fear we will lose so much because of the current trend in education to stop teaching cursive writing. Who makes these decisions????

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