[QW5] “It’s” vs. “Its”

by | Sep 19, 2020

Here is a problematic word puzzler where one outlier does not follow the rule.

[QW5] “It’s” vs. “Its”

We often find an apostrophe demonstrating ownership:

The dog‘s bone

A company‘s logo

A Ferengi‘s tooth sharpener (If you’re not a Star Trek fan, never mind 🙂 )

We can shorten these to:

Its bone

Its logo

(Ferengis are humanoids, so I can’t call them an ‘it.’)

Um. What happened to the (ownership indicating) apostrophe?!

‘Its’ breaks the apostrophe rule when demonstrating ownership.

Sorry. Grrrrrr.

“How do I remember which is which?”

Here’s an easy way to remember which spelling to use.

Add an apostrophe when you could use ‘it is’ in your phrase.
For example
:

It’s challenging to find a tasty bone for a dog nowadays.”
It is challenging to find a tasty bone for a dog nowadays.”

Do not use an apostrophe here:

“The dog loved its bone.”

“The dog loved it is bone” doesn’t work.


Oof! Quick Win 5 is a hard one!

We use the contraction “it’s” so often, it’s easy to forget about the other way these three small letters appear in our writing.

Feel free to leave a comment or email me if you need help with this ‘puzzler’: Kathie@KathieYork.com

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Kathie

Click here to see the introductory post for this series.

Click here to access all [QW] posts.

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Kathie York, CSQE
Certified Software Quality Engineer
Master of Science in Project Management
(PMBOK based)
CopywriteMatters Confident Copywriter

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