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The Mighty Apostrophe

Stock performance with laptop and calculator

By SA Author Experience :

By Jeanne Yael Klempner

This installment discusses the simple rules governing it's/its.

It's

Are you trying to say 'it is'?* Yes. Use an apostrophe.

E.g. It's going to be a long winter for oil and gas stocks.

Its

Are you indicating possession? Yes. Don't use an apostrophe.

E.g. Its dividend rose again last quarter.

The apostrophe rule: It's really that simple to understand its use here!

Just today, I came across the following on SA -

- Incorrect! Now do you see why?

*Anywhere you need to indicate the omission of letters or numbers (a contraction), use an apostrophe. Here's - or here is - a list of some examples that follow the same rule as It's above:

  • Can not = Can't
  • Does not = Doesn't
  • Let us = Let's
  • I am = I'm
  • We have = We've
  • They are = They're
  • He will = He'll
  • She has = She's
  • You had = You'd

One of the best resources (and definitely the silliest) that I've found to explain correct apostrophe usage is this comic from The Oatmeal, How To Use An Apostrophe . The deliberately absurd examples will stay with you forever once you read it!

See also Investors' Mental Roadblock: Financial Advisors' Daily Digest on seekingalpha.com

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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