Q. Could you please give a definitive answer to the its versus it’s issue? I just came back from a writing conference, and the advice we received was contradictory to everything I was taught previously, as well as contradictory to what I can find online on college websites. Most writer’s websites that I’ve checked out are claiming that the only time its is written as it’s would be when the meaning is “it is.” What happened to possessive nouns?

A. True, this can be confusing, but possessive pronouns are an exception to the rule that possessives have apostrophes. Possessive pronouns lack apostrophes: her glove, my glove, your glove, its glove. Remembering that its is a possessive pronoun should help.