It’s and its

Despite the sight of rich red geraniums flowering on my kitchen windowsill, the fresh, strong sunshine and the delicious cup of coffee at hand, I am grumpy.


Looking through my tweets this morning, I saw an anouncement from a famous bookshop part of which ran: “…is on it’s way for review.” My teeth couldn’t grind hard enough, the anguished sob couldn’t exit my mouth fast enough.

Let’s get this straight: “it’s” is short for “it is”. The apostrophe substitutes for missing letters. Other examples include don’t, can’t, they’re, we’re, isn’t.

So far, so easy.

I know it sounds the same, but “its” shows that something belongs to something else (We used to call this the genetive case, but that knowledge has faded away, unless you study Latin or German). So, two examples are “The cat sat on its mat” and “The burger came with its own portion of fries”.
Tip: If you can substitute his or her, even if it sounds a tad weird, then this “its/it’s” should be apostrophe-free.

The saddest thing is that the mis-use came from a bookshop.

Okay, I’m going to stop now and drink my coffee; it’s getting cold sitting there on its mat.

Please comment – I love comments – but don’t get me started on “your and “you’re”…

P.S.  Said shop has acknowledged (and with a 🙂 )

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