Choosing Between "Its" and "It’s"

Choosing Between "Its" and "It’s"

Whether you're writing a professional report or posting a comment online, sloppy grammatical errors make you less credible and detract from your message. So, what can you do to avoid them?

One of the best ways to improve your grammar is by considering some of the most common cringy mistakes, such as confusing its and it's. This post will teach you the difference and their appropriate uses, so keep reading for expert grammar help!

Its: A Possessive Pronoun

Its is the possessive form of the pronoun it, which we use to show ownership. 

We usually use an apostrophe to establish possession in the English language. For example, a dog that belongs to George is George's dog. A house that Daniel owns is Daniel's house.

However, this rule doesn't apply to personal pronouns, including:

  • Yours
  • Ours
  • His 
  • Hers
  • Theirs
  • Its

Here are some examples of when to use its: 

  • The plant is large, but its leaves are small. 
  • At its best, the company made over a million dollars in revenue. 
  • The store raised its prices.

None of the uses of its in these examples can be swapped for it is and still make sense. 

Another essential thing to remember is that its' is always incorrect. We never put an apostrophe after the s

It's: The Contracted Form of It Is

The apostrophe in it's lets us know that we are dealing with a contraction. 

Contractions are shortened versions of words or groups of words. Where two words join together, we replace omitted letters with an apostrophe. Some examples of contractions include:

  • You are you're
  • There is or there has = there's
  • We have = we've
  • Could not = couldn't
  • It is or It hasIt's 

Notice that it's is the contracted form of it is or it has. Now, let's take a look at some of the examples of how to use this contraction. 

  • That dog is enormous! It's bigger than a miniature horse!
  • Have you heard about the storm coming this weekend? It's going to bring a lot of rain. 
  • Look at this house! It's got six bedrooms and four baths.

You can tell that these sentences are correct by replacing the contractions with the full words it is or it has

If you need more writing help, this guide is for you!

Never Mix Up Its and It's Again!

With the help of this brief grammar guide, you'll never mistake its and it's again! But, just in case, save this post if you forget or have future doubts about whether to use its or it's.

Reviewing it can save you from some careless errors, making you appear much more credible and intelligent each time you put your thoughts down in writing. 

If you would like more career and education advice, don't leave our website just yet. Before you go, browse posts similar to this one and learn more great tips!