Writing for Business

Aug 4 2009   1:45PM GMT

It’s or its?

Ivy Wigmore Ivy Wigmore Profile: Ivy Wigmore

typing Which is correct?
Because of ___ performance benefits, D2D2T is becoming more widely used.
a. it’s
b. its

Answer: b

Explanation: It’s can only mean it is or it has. If the intention is to express possessive case, its doesn’t take an apostrophe.

This is a very basic grammatical rule but it’s (it is!) one of the most commonly broken ones as well and probably responsible for more bald English teachers than any other.

Here’s more info. Here’s a 12-step program for overcoming apostrophe abuse.

And here’s a blog devoted to mocking people who sprinkle apostrophes liberally and indiscriminately through their written communications.

2  Comments on this Post

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  • Nnf97
    I agree with (b). But it led me to think whether 'its' is a word at all? That led me to this website: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/its Turns out 'its' is a valid English word.
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  • Jaeo
    Yes, [I]its[/I] is how you express possessive case for [I]it.[/I] That's what b choice is.
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