The Apostrophe….It’s or Its???

Cover image
An old alarm clock with a tag saying It's Time.

Although the apostrophe is tiny, its impact is huge. Here are a few rules you can use when determining apostrophe placement when using contractions.

Apostrophes replace missing letters in contractions. Contractions are when we take two words to form one with the use of an apostrophe. Here’s an example:

He isn’t here. = He is not here.

 So, how do you know when to use the apostrophe? Here’s a trick. Always stretch out the contraction in the sentence to see if it makes sense. For example:

 It’s going to rain today.

Let’s stretch the contraction out and see if it still makes sense.

 It is going to rain today.

Yes, it does. We have used the apostrophe in the right way.

 PS: Using contractions in your writing creates a less formal tone. Your decision whether to use contractions or not will depend on your reader and the level of formality.

PPS: Here’s one other secret…here are four words that never have apostrophes:

Never write:   its’

Marie Antaya avatar

By Marie Antaya, CTDP

Author of The Eclectic Writing Series.