its it's it's
its it's its
it's its it's


Its, or It's: That is the Question:

After getting rather tired of seeing "it's" being used when "its" was called for, I decided to keep track of instances of this misuse that I run into on the web. It seems that many people just don't realize that the only time "it's" is needed is when the words "it" and "is" (or "has") are being contracted. ("It's" = "It is" or "It has."

The word "its" signifies possession, and needs no apostrophe. (Nor do these words need one: yours, his, hers, theirs, and ours.) I guess the confusion stems from the fact that the apostrophe is used to show possession by a noun, as in "the flower's petals."

When I decided to see if this topic was being discussed on Usenet, and looked up "misuse of apostrophe" on Dejanews, I was surprised to find that there was a whole newsgroup devoted to this issue!

Contributions are welcome!! So if you run across any (from non-personal pages) which you would like to have added to this page, please send me the URL. kathy at the domain

Other Its/It's Info

December 4, 2015 - saw in an article about Pawpaws from PRI:

Meet the pawpaw, America's forgotten fruit

"The pawpaw's short shelf life and it's fragility also explain its absence from the nation’s grocery store"

February 22, 2014 - found on today's Weekend Edition Sunday page:

A Greek Town Nervously Watches It's Russian Fur Trade Falter

It is possible that this will be fixed at a future time, but this is how the story was headlined the day it was broadcast.

November 16, 2011 - from a write-up on the Diane Rehm Show page about a program on Caravaggio:

"Caravaggio was one of Europe’s greatest artists. He was also one of it's most flawed."

From an f-secure page:

After this, Poison Ivy connects back to it's server at The domain has been used in similar espionage attacks over an extended period of time.

Reported by Scott N. in September 2008 - "...except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws" or as seen here in the next to last paragraph in a typed version from Cornell.
Found on October 11, 2007 -

"Honoring it's place in our history Creating it's place in our future."

Found on January 12, 2007 - Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Madison: "I told him I was not at liberty to permit any alteration, but I would represent his objection to a friend who could judge of its validity,"

"I will venture to assert that there is not one of its opposers who, placed on this ground, would not see the wisdom of this measure."

Found on May 4, 2005 - - For generations after this, Rooibos tea was enjoyed (primarily by the South Africans) for it's cool, sweet, refreshing flavor.
Found on September 28, 2004 -

"SGA President Wants Student Senate to Find it's Voice" Also in the same Sept. 8 issue of the paper on page 10 was: "Computer Gaming at it's best"

Found on September 18, 2003 -

"Since it's inception, others have tried to mimic the Forever Flashlight."

Found on August 3, 2003 -

Mary Fahl's striking voice with it's wide range...

Found on October 20, 2002 -

It's main point is that, to cut down on the "flame wars" that had begun to predominate on that list, the list owner promised to make donations to ATC if list members would act decent toward one another.

Found on September 2, 2002 -

"With it's low slung frame and raked-out springer fork, the Roadster is a real curbhugger."

Found on January 28, 2002 - "Community Commons will kick off it's 2nd Annual Getting to Know Your Watershed lecture series..."
Found on May 25, 2000 - - "Due to it's adjustment possibilities,..."
Found on March 30, 2000 - - "The corporation purchased it's first tract of land of 395 acres in October 1987."
Found on March 27, 2000 - - "...the southern portion of the county is surprisingly, a relatively rural and sparsely populated area where it's natural beauty is enjoyed by boaters and tourists alike."
Found on December 31, 1999 - - "With the crossing of the Millennium into it's second time zone ..."
Reported on October 8, 1999 by Paul Bilton: - "Course Fee's"
Found on May 18, 1999 at url:

"Pollen begins to rear it's ugly head in the Mid-Atlantic in the middle of March."

Found on March 15, 1999 at url:

"... it's e-mail notifications are only text messages.."

Found on February 7, 1999 at url:

"To experience this site to it's fullest potential"

Found on January 28,1999 at url:

"Click on your favorite park for it's website..."

Found on January 24, 1999 at url:

"For all refund-related comments and ideas, use the slashdot article and it's related discussion mentioned above for now. Thanks!"

Found on June 28, 1998 at url:

"...switch back into non-anonymous mode for the site to read it's cookies and allow you normal access."

Found on August 27, 1998 at url:

NSCA's Mosaic certainly has it's place in history

Found on June 27, 1998 at url:

"However, the most disturbing part of the virus is in it's activation routine."

Found on April 18, 1998 at URL:

"To choose a newsgroup to read, enter all or most of it's name in the box below."

Found on April 2, 1998 at URL: "...we trace its official location and owner..."
Found December 2, 1997 at URL:

"Each of these distributions has it's own feature set, and some are geared towards specific types of computer systems." (Second sentence on page)

Found November 25, 1997 at URL:

"As the U.S. Air Force celebrates it's 50th. anniversary, a new book entitled....." (Second hour of the Tuesday show)

Found November 16, 1997 at URL:

WebSite Search Engine: "Paradise is now offering the worlds only served SiteSearch program. Awesome for cataloging your site and it's contents!"

Found November 10, 1997 at URL:

"For information about the state of Maryland, it's people, tourism, businesses, and government visit the Electronic Capital. "

Found November 8, 1997 at URL:

"At 67 miles it is the biggest undertaking of it's kind in the country."

Found October 31, 1997 at URL:

"Paul Bunyan Trail - The longest paved "Rails to Trails" in the nation winds from it's source in Brainerd-Baxter, Minn., north to Lake Bemidji State Park."

Reported by Linda Thrasher on October 27, 1997:

10th line of poem: "but death as well can find it's way."

Found September 27, 1997 at URL:

"National Public Radio Online announces two major additions to it's online presence at http: The first is live chat."

Found October 2, 1997 at URL: a .gif including words that enshrine an incorrect use of "it's."

"Locate your watershed to view it's index."

NOTE: On October 12, I found that the apostrophe had been removed. Possibly the webmaster studies the logs regularly, determined that there was a link to his or her page from this page, saw what I had found, and subsequently made the correction. Who knows??

Found October 12, 1997 at URL:, a page about the Paul Bunyan Trail.

"This new trail will ultimately link 16 communities between it's source in Brainerd/Baxter and Lake Bemidji State Park on the north."

Found October 12, 1997 at URL:

"Thanks to the following specifically, and to all the volunteers and those who contributed, for the outpouring of support for the C&O Canal and the Potomac Conservancy's efforts in it's restoration!"

Found October 15, 1997 at URL:", an NPS page for the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

"The park is known for two things, it's scenic beauty at the head of Potomac River fall line and the historic Patowmack Canal."


Sunday, October 12, 1997

Orioles, Indians Engage in Classic Pitchers's Duel
By Thomas Boswell
Washington Post Staff Writer; page A01
CLEVELAND, Oct. 11Ladies and gentlemen, we have a
new candidate for Most Amazing Baseball Game Ever

From: Washington Post website.

Usenet Group, via Google Groups:
Apostrophe Guidelines and
it's/its confusion
from Emory
Apostrophe page
from Purdue's OWL

The Apostrophe Protection Society

Paul Brians' Common Errors Page Brave Little Mouse's Its/It's Page Abused Apostrophes

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