Monday, March 24, 2008

A GreyZelda Grammar Lesson: Its vs. It's

I am definitely not an expert on grammar, but the rules that I have managed to learn stick with me and whenever I see the following error appear in a bloggy blog or email, it takes me out of the writer's intent and reminds me of an unresolved gestalt.

Taken from


It's is a contraction of "it is" or "it has."

It's time to go.

Do you think it's ready?

I read your article - it's very good.

Do you know where my purse is? It's on the table.

It's been a long time.


Its is the possessive form of "it."

That's an interesting device - what is its purpose?

I saw Les Misérables during its initial run.

This stove has its own timer.

The bird lost some of its feathers.

Where is its head office?

The Bottom Line

The confusion between it's and its occurs because on virtually every other word 's indicates possession, so English speakers naturally want to use it's to mean "something belonging to it." But it's is only used when it's a contraction of it is or it has.

The ironclad rule - no exceptions - is that if you can replace the word with "it is" or "it has," use it's. Otherwise, it's always its."

Today's lesson was brought to you by the sugar rush given to its author by eating too much Easter candy.



Anonymous said...

Its all a bit to much.
(Trying two make you're head explode.)

GreyZelda Land said...

You is two funny.


DirectorSector said...

omg wtf rofl grammar hax!!!! lol!

ur 2 smart 4 me!


Devilvet said...

Lobster Claus is very mad right now!

GreyZelda Land said...

Maybe instead of Santa Claus coming to visit every Christmas, we could start the tradition of Lobster Claus coming. If you've been bad, he'll snip off your head.

Heh heh.

I like that.