Tag Archive - its and it’s

It’s Not Rocket Science!

After coming across the non-word its’ (with an apostrophe) for the nth time, I decided I needed to make a statement that I’m hoping most of you already know: It’s is not rocket science.

Why do writer complicate the it issue? With most all other words, deciding when to use an apostophe+s or an s+apostrophe can be a little daunting (see earlier posts with the tag “apostrophes”). But really, with it’s, it’s just plain simple:

The word it’s ONLY means “it is.” It’s a contraction.

You have to be able to replace it with “it is.” Period. End of discussion.

Any other usage of its leaves out the apostrophe. Its is an adjective; it is is a noun + a verb. There is no word its’. (How would you pronounce that—”itzes”?)

  • A dog bites its fleas
  • Its icing was dripping down the sides
  • The boat had its motor pulled
  • It’s about time we writers got this down!

Like I said–it’s not rocket science. Too bad not all words needing apostrophes follow this simple rule.