Quick Tip:
Make Your Copy More Professional by Avoiding This Common Mistake

You don't have to be an expert in grammar to write compelling copy that clients will love. But you don't want to make obvious mistakes either.

One of the most common mistakes writers (and not just copywriters) make is to confuse "its" and "it's."

Without an apostrophe, "its" shows ownership or possession. In "SuperX gives its power quickly, " the "its" refers to the power that SuperX possesses.

With the apostrophe, "it's" means "it is" or "it has." This word is a contraction. The apostrophe indicates that one or two letters have been removed. For example, "It's all natural" means "It IS all natural" and "It's been selling" means "It HAS been selling."

If you aren't sure which form of the word to use, change its to "IT IS" or "IT HAS." If the sentence makes sense, "it's" is correct. If it doesn't make sense, go with "its."

Don't depend on your word processor's grammar checker to get these words right. Grammar checkers don't always find errors – and sometimes they flag things that aren't incorrect.

When you use these two words correctly, your copy will look more professional than that of your less-careful competitors – and you'll make a better impression on your clients.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

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Published: May 17, 2004

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