In this week’s installment of our linguistic public service, our host takes on an issue that is all too common, a mistake that could easily be avoided with some attention to detail: when to use “it’s” and when to use “its.”
We’re not too proud to admit that this mistake will crop up in our own writing if we’re approaching a deadline and are trying to bust out high-quality content real quick, but when you’re fully aware of the difference, it’s actually an easy situation to remedy.
When @peaches1612 told Punk that his career wants its life back, she used the incorrect “it’s” instead, perhaps because she believed that most possessive words have an apostrophe before the “s.” Usually, they would be correct, but “its” is a rare exception to the rule, because in its possessive form, “its” foregoes the apostrophe.
The apostrophe does make an appearance in the contraction form of “it’s,” though. If you can remember that “it’s” can only ever mean “it is” or “it has,” and is therefore never possessive, you should be on your way to proper speaking and writing.
And you better learn up quick, because if Punk is to be believed–and of course we believe him–he has figured out how to reach through your phone like a vintage cartoon character and break your thumbs off, so be careful out there or be held accountable for your actions.
New episodes of Grammar Slam air every Monday at 8am PT, right here on Nerdist!