Grammar 101: Part 1 - An Introduction & Its/It’s

I’ve decided to do these because my biggest fan asked me about tomorrow’s topic in an email and I figured, what better way for me to bone up on my grammar (which I’ll admit isn’t often the greatest) by teaching others – it is the best way to learn something, at least that’s what dear ol’ dad says.

In these I'll always let you know when I stop rambling and the real info starts.

As this won’t be a full “lesson” (*giggles incessantly at the idea of someone learning from me in a classroom environment*) I figured I’d start out with something silly, but that tends to trip me up occasionally still.

*** Begin Relevant Information***

“It’s” the shortened version (aka the conjunction) of “it is” or it has. The “i” or “ha” is replaced with an apostrophe and it becomes one word. Not that hard right?

I’ve had issue with this before and I do occasionally find myself writing the wrong thing… its bad, I know. I’m willing to admit that it’s purely an issue of carelessness and not paying attention on my part. I’m still mortified that one will slip through and an agent will look at my manuscript and think… “This girl doesn’t even know how to use ‘its/it’s’ properly!”

I know the reason I place the wrong one in the wrong place is because in my head I’m still at the point where I’m putting the apostrophe in for the possessive. If the dog has a leash, it’s the dog’s leash.

It’s Andrea’s sister’s dog. It pooped on their brother’s bed. Andrea’s cat Mitsy got blamed for it, thrown out of the house and some nice old lady has adopted her and is now keeping her from Andrea! So now Mitsy is the old lady’s cat. (This instance was made up purely as an example.)

Possessive adjectives baby! You have to think of “its” like you think of “yours” or “theirs”. There is no need for the “_’s”

When you’re talking in possessive, “Its” is the way to go! No apostrophe. The apostrophe indicates the conjunction “It is” that is when you use “It’s”.

*** End of all matter relevant to the topic of “Its/It’s”.

Bonus: Complimentary/Complementary

When something is complimentary (with an “i”) it means it is either complimenting you – i.e. saying you look good (and you really do *winks*) or it means that it is free, or done as a courtesy (those little bottles of shampoo and conditioner in hotel bathrooms are generally* complimentary).

*I say generally because people are beginning to charge for everything these days.

When something is Complementary (with an “e”) it means something goes well with something else. If you’ve seen the commercials for… golly I can’t remember who… with Chevy Chase in them, you’ll remember the snooty concierge making a comment to this effect. “It complements the room, it isn’t free.”

I hope I haven’t confused you more than you were before. Tomorrow: Who/Whom!


  1. Thanks for the lesson Miss Johnson! Now can we play heads up seven up?


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