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Quick & Easy Content Writing Tips: It’s vs. Its

November 09, 2017

The simple little word “it” seems to create issues for a lot of people when you have to add an “s” onto the end of it. Do you need an apostrophe? Do you not need an apostrophe? Is the rule the same all the time?

In this instalment of Quick & Easy Content Writing Tips, we will try to get to the bottom of yet another silly English language grammar rule, so it makes sense.

Now, it has to be said that our place as content writing experts doesn’t mean we are grammar experts, English Majors or anything of the sort. I firmly subscribe to the “conversational, old-school copywriting” style of writing, and that way isn’t always in good with the grammar police. It’s gotta be communication first, then worry about the grammar laws second…unless, the client is an academic kind of thing, blah, blah, yes I know.

Quite often, I am learning right along with you when I create these posts, so let’s take a closer look at this one.

With an Apostrophe

This one really shouldn’t cause too much trouble. It’s more straightforward than the “your vs. you’re” or “which vs. that” rules.

Basically, if you are trying to say “it is” or “it has” then you need to add an apostrophe….most of the time. It is a contraction, combining the two words. Here are a few examples:

It’s (It has) been a struggle creating kick-ass content, but this new rule will make me a superstar.

It’s (It is) wonderful to know content writing success is within my grasp.

I never knew I could be such a master content creator, but it’s (it has) been easy.

When you follow all the incredible tips from The Content Company, it’s (it is) easy to become a blog writing wizard!

Of course, there could be exceptions like if you were talking about say….a new content writing software, and said, “It has the potential to become the next big thing.” In this instance, you wouldn’t write, “it’s”, and I’m sure there is a golden rule about that, but I have no idea what it is. Any thoughts?​

Without an Apostrophe

The “its” with no apostrophe is the possessive of the pronoun, it. This one is easy to mix up, and I’m sure I have done it more than a few times myself. The easiest way to figure out if you should use this no apostrophe version is if “it is” or “it has” doesn’t work in the sentence.

The Content Company is passionate about its writers.

The tractor drove into a ditch and flipped on its side.

It seems to be easier if you consider the word ‘ownership’ when trying decide if the non-apostrophe version is correct. Once you run through them a few times, you should get the hang of which one to use and when.

As always, if you have any content-related questions, or want to find out if we’d be a good fit for your clients, contact us at The Content Company today.


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