Misused Words: Its and It’s

Its and It’s are words that get confused all the time, so here is a short explanation between the two:

Misused Words: Its and It's

Its (without the apostrophe) is a neuter (non-gender) possessive pronoun that works similar to his or her. (a pronoun is a word that takes the place of a  noun.)

For example: The dog likes its purple toy.

For example: The committee is writing its response to the board of directors.


It’s (with the apostophe) is a contraction for it is or it has.

For example: It’s been a week since Karen wrote in her journal. (In this case, the it’s is a contraction for it has.)

For example: It’s time to send the draft to the publisher. (In this case, the it’s is a contraction for it is.)


HINT: If you can’t decide whether to use it’s or its, substitute the word with “it is” or “it has.” If the substitution works, than you know to use it’s. If the substitution doesn’t work then you know to use its.


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Writing Tip: Alot vs A Lot vs Allot

The English language can be a challenge for the best of us. There are so many exceptions to the rules and the hundreds of homonyms (words that sound alike but mean different things) don’t make it any easier! Case in point: alot, a lot, and allot.

Writing Tip: Alot, A lot, and Allot

Those tiny words cause a whole lot of trouble to many of us; however, the differences are quite easy:

Alot is not a word. You can just forget about every using this in your writing. 🙂

A lot means many or a large amount. For example: I have a lot of writing to do today.

Allot means to divide or separate. For example: Jeff will allot 3 acres of land to each of his sons and daughters.

It is that simple. 🙂 It is just a matter of remembering the difference between them. To make it easier, you can download this free cheat sheet that you can keep handy. (Subscribers, go to you private page to access the download.)


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