Stop with me for a moment, and let’s enjoy the vespertide …
Photo by Alofok via Wikimedia Commons
Vespertide (ves-per-tide) is the “period of vespers” (evening), and it is never more enchanting than in the winter, when the world is cast in hues of snow-lit blue.
Photo by Marcus Vegas via Wikimedia Commons
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
– Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
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.