David Rickert

A Comic Lesson on It’s and Its and Their, They’re and There

its there

This cartoon is part of a series of comics designed to teach Language Arts concepts.

Some of the most common grammar mistakes concern it’s and its and there, their, and they’re. It may not be fair, but when these mistakes appear in your writing it will indicate either a lack of grammar knowledge or sloppiness in proofreading. Not to mention that there is always a question about each on the ACT, so it’s best to go in to that test with them committed to memory or you will lose easy points.

There really isn’t a good mnemonic device to know the difference, so you’ll have to commit them to memory.

It’s = it is. It’s is a contraction. It’s important to eat vegetables.

Its is possessive. The dog chased its tail.

There is an adverb indicating a place. Put it over there.

Their is possessive. The students read their books.

They’re = they are. They’re going to the library.

For more entertaining comics on common sentence problems, please check out Grammar Comics: Sentence Problems. Each cartoon covers a common problem students face in writing.

The author of this article is David Rickert, who leads parallel lives as a cartoonist and teacher. When not creating comics out of thin air, David teaches high school English Language Arts in Columbus, Ohio. His witty and engaging cartoons turn abstract and complicated concepts into concrete and concise images to embed content into our long term memories. Let’s face it: he makes boring topics entertaining. Check out his Grammar Comics and more resources to bring life to your ELA instruction at his store


2 comments on “A Comic Lesson on It’s and Its and Their, They’re and There

  1. Laura
    September 21, 2014

    i think this is great, but (and there’s always a “but”), shouldn’t the apostrophe be after the S in “parents,” since they referred to “their” (or “there”) car? And people often overlook the fact that “it’s” is also short for “it has”: It’s been a long time. It’s finally arrived.


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This entry was posted on September 21, 2014 by in education, grammar lessons and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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