What's the Difference Between 'It's' and 'Its'?

In this blog post we look at when to use it's and when to use its.

'It's' or 'Its'?

The difference between "its" and "it's" is a common source of confusion for English writers. While both forms appear similar, they have distinct uses in the language. Understanding the difference between these two forms is crucial for effective and accurate writing.

"Its" is a possessive pronoun that shows ownership or belonging.

For example, "The cat chased its tail." In this sentence, "its" is used to indicate that the tail belongs to the cat. When used as a possessive pronoun, "its" does not require an apostrophe.

On the other hand, "it's" is a contraction of "it is" or "it has".

For example, "It's raining outside." In this sentence, "it's" represents the two words "it is". Contractions are formed by combining two words and using an apostrophe to show the omitted letters.

The confusion between “its” and “it’s” may arise out of the fact that apostrophes are used to denote possession as in “Bob’s cat was meowing at the window”. However possessive pronouns such as his, hers and its do not use apostrophes.

To distinguish between the two forms, it is helpful to think of "its" as belonging to "it" and "it's" as representing "it is" or "it has". If the form cannot be replaced with "it is" or "it has", then it is likely to be "its".

In conclusion, it is important to use the correct form of "its" and "it's" to convey meaning clearly and avoid confusion in writing. By understanding the difference between the two forms and their proper usage, writers can improve their writing skills and communicate more effectively.

Here are some example sentences to illustrate the difference between "its" and "it's":

Its tail was wagging. (possessive pronoun)

  1. Explanation: "Its" is used here to show ownership, indicating that the tail belongs to the subject of the sentence.

It's raining outside. (contraction)

  1. Explanation: "It's" is used here as a contraction of "it is", representing the two words "it is".

The cat lost its ball. (possessive pronoun)

  1. Explanation: "Its" is used here to show that the ball belongs to the cat.

It's a beautiful day today. (contraction)

  1. Explanation: "It's" is used here as a contraction of "it is", representing the two words "it is".

The bird built its nest in the tree. (possessive pronoun)

  1. Explanation: "Its" is used here to show that the nest belongs to the bird.

Examples of It's in a Sentence

  1. It's a beautiful day to go for a walk.

  2. The test results came back and it's positive.

  3. It's important to be on time for the meeting.

  4. The music was so loud that it's hard to hear what they were saying.

  5. It's been a long time since we last saw each other.

  6. The cake smells delicious, it's going to be a treat.

  7. It's not polite to interrupt someone while they're speaking.

  8. The traffic is terrible and it's taking forever to arrive.

  9. It's amazing what technology can do these days.

  10. It's going to rain later, don't forget to bring an umbrella.

Examples of Its in a Sentence

  1. The cat licked its paw to clean itself.

  2. The company is proud of its accomplishments.

  3. The boy lost his toy and couldn't find its whereabouts.

  4. The team will have to make a decision about its future.

  5. The city is known for its bustling nightlife.

  6. The company values its employees.

  7. The tree is losing its leaves because it's autumn.

  8. The car has its own unique engine sound.

  9. The bird uses its beak to build its nest.

  10. The team needs to improve its performance.

It's or Its
It's or Its