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it's its!

This page is dedicated to education (or corrective reeducation) concerning usage of the English language singular neutral third-person possessive pronoun: its.

You wouldn't write hi's or her's would you? So why the compulsion to write it's?

It's is always a contraction -- of "it is" (most commonly), and also "it was" and sometimes "it has." Never, never deploy that apostrophe in a sentence like

    "The dog shook its head."
Check me on this, find the same type of sentence in books, and you'll see I'm right. Hard to believe? Why??

I also see its' with some frequency, and after gentle interrogation of a co-worker who used it, understand the source of the error -- the "s" rule. When a word's made possesive, and it ends in an "s" an apostrophe is appended and the trailing "s" omitted -- for example,

    "The students' opinions were all the same."
However this usage is actually losing favor, one can usually add the "s" these days and be okay, depending upon the word -- but you'd think the British would know better, however they write it as
    The St. James's Club
BUT that rule never applies to possessive pronouns -- only nouns and given names.

So whenever you're tempted to write "it's" always substitute "it is" in the expression -- if it sounds wrong, it's its!

Thank you.

More pages like this: but this rant is unrelated to the It's IT.
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