Before I went to college I can‘t remember if I even knew the difference between it’s & its, one thing I do know though, is that I certainly didn’t care. I am far from being the grammar police – if you search this blog, or even this post, I am sure you will find some grammatical errors, but one thing for sure, you will not find an incorrect use of “it(‘)s”, and if you do, its an innocent typo.
Back in my college days, I believe it was in second year, I had an instructor who hated the incorrect usage of “its” so much, that if he found the error anywhere in anything you handed in, you would get an automatic zero – no redo’s, but 1 exception – the first time you made the error you were given 24 hours to correct it and hand it back in, after that, if you made the mistake again, you were screwed.
At the time I found this kind of harsh, and made a point to never make the error. I was a little pissed that he could give some people zero for such a tiny mistake, but since it never happened to me, it was easy to let it go.
I feel bad that for the life of me I can’t remember his name, but he turned me into someone that gets annoyed every time “its” is used incorrectly. Guess there is a little bit of the grammar police in me somewhere.
Proper Usage of Its
The proper usage is really quite easy. There is one very simple rule to know if you have it right. If you are using “it’s” break it apart into “it is”. If your sentence still makes sense, use the apostrophe, if it doesn’t, drop the apostrophe. It’s that simple.