"Between me and the life there is a mist of words always." (Oscar Wilde)

Word Tip Archived Item

WORD TIP: It's Irritating!

One of the most common mistakes in text is caused by the writer not being able to distinguish between -

            It's - the contraction of "it is"  

and

         Its  -  the pronoun denoting ownership

 Example:

It's time to prepare all the materials for the annual report.

Less formal than "it is", the contraction of the pronoun "it" with the verb "is" elides the pronoun and the verb, creating a short form via the use of an apostrophe to denote the missing letter(s). Contractions can sound informal and friendly, as if you are speaking on a personal level.

 

 Example:

The XYZ Company prepared its annual report.

The annual report belongs to the company. "Its" is the possessive form of the third-person pronoun "it".

 

     Tip:

Be sure to get it right! "It's" is the contraction; "its" is the pronoun.