Its vs It’s: Learn The Difference

its vs it's

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Its vs it’s: learn the difference, but how? When talking about the possessive pronoun like his or her and it’s is always a contraction comprising of it + is or has. Understanding the difference between these two terms can help you avoid making mistakes in your writing and speaking, allowing you to express yourself clearly and confidently.

its vs it's

What is “Its” and “It’s”?

It’s a common grammar mistake to misuse the terms “its” and “it’s”, but making the right distinction can make all the difference. “Its” is a possessive pronoun, similar to his, hers or ours – it indicates something belongs to someone else.

For example Its shine made the diamond sparkle. On the other hand, “it’s” is a contraction for “it is” and indicates something is happening – for instance: It’s raining outside. Although both are typically short words in their respective sentences, understanding which one to use can be confusing if you don’t know when to choose one over the other.

How to Use Its in a Sentence

The possessive pronoun “its” is words in the English language that indicate possession such as he’s and she’s.

For example:

  • The cat licked its paw.
  • The puppy wagged its tail.

In each case, “its” is indicating that something belongs to the animal – i.e., the paw and tail respectively.

How to Use It’s in a Sentence

On the other hand, it’s is a contraction for it + is or has. This means that you can use it for any sentence where “it” is followed by either of these two verbs.

For instance:

  • It’s raining outside.
  • The sun is setting, it’s almost dark.

Here, “it’s” is being used to indicate something is happening in both sentences – i.e., it is raining and the sun is setting respectively.

When to Use Its vs It’s Correctly

Knowing when to use ‘its’ and ‘it’s’ correctly can be confusing. Generally, if you take the fit or make sense in the sentence, then you should go with ‘its. A good way to remember this rule is by simply thinking of ownership when deciding which word to use.

Common Mistakes with Its vs It’s Usage

When it comes to grammar, one of the most common errors is confusing ‘its’ and ‘it’s.’ To break it down, “it’s” is an How to Avoid Confusing its with it’s

The best way to avoid confusing “its” and “it’s” is by being very mindful of the context.

  • If you’re ever unsure, ask yourself if the sentence would make sense with “it is” instead.
  • If it does, then use “it’s”; if not, go with “its.”
  • Additionally, try writing out the words in full to help keep your grammar on track – ‘It is’ vs ‘Its.’ This can also be a useful reminder when speaking English aloud as well.
  • Read over your work one last time to check for any potential errors or slips that may have gone unnoticed along the way.

Why Knowing the Difference Is Important

Knowing the difference between ‘its’ and ‘it’s’ is important when writing or speaking in proper English. Making mistakes with grammar can lead to misunderstandings or even be taken as offensive by your peers, so it’s best to get it right from the beginning. Familiarizing yourself with the correct usage of “its” and “it’s” will help you avoid any embarrassing moments in the future and ensure you look polished and professional.

Furthermore, understanding how to use its vs it’s correctly will also be beneficial for any other aspects of language learning that require a good grasp of grammar. Ultimately, taking the time to learn this small but significant distinction could have meaningful implications for both personal and professional communication.

Rules for Using ‘Its’ & ‘It’s’ Properly

Keeping the rules for when to use “its” and “it’s” straight can be tricky! Even experienced writers confuse them from time to time. To make it easier:

By following these rules, you will be able to confidently navigate the Why Knowing the Difference is Important

Making a mistake with its vs. it’s can be an embarrassing moment if you are speaking or writing formally – causing confusion or making yourself seem less fluent than you are. Understanding when to use each term allows you to communicate clearly and confidently, ensuring that your message gets across correctly without any errors or misinterpretations.

Additionally, knowing the difference between these two terms demonstrates your knowledge of grammar and language conventions – which may be especially useful if you are applying for a job or writing an essay for school.


It’s important to understand the difference between “its” and “it’s” when communicating in proper English. Knowing when to use them correctly can help you avoid any embarrassing mistakes and ensure your work looks polished and professional. The main tip to remember is that ‘its’ is always possessive while ‘it’s’ is a contraction of ‘it is.’ If you take the apostrophe out of the word, it should give you an easy way to remember which one fits best. With these rules in mind, you will be able to confidently navigate the tricky its vs it’s debate!


What is the difference between “its” and “it’s”?

The difference between “its” and “it’s” can be confusing for many English language learners. In short, “it’s” is a contraction of “it is,” whereas “its” does not involve a contraction. For example, you would say, “It’s raining outside” to indicate that it is indeed raining outside. Alternatively, you could say something like, “The cat licked its paw.” Here, the possessive pronoun ‘its’ indicates ownership or possession; there is no contraction here.

When should I use which term?

To determine whether you should use “its” or “it’s,” think about the context of your sentence. If it is a contraction and can be replaced with “it is,” then use “it’s.” On the other hand, if there is an element of possession or belonging in the sentence, then use “its.”

What are some common mistakes people make when using these terms?

One of the most common mistakes people make when using these terms is confusing them for one another. It can be easy to forget that there are two forms of this word in English and instead end up using the wrong one. Another common mistake people make is confusing “it’s” with possessive pronouns like “his,” “hers,” and “their.” These possessive pronouns should never be used in place of “its.”

Why is it important to know the difference between these terms?

Knowing the difference between these two professional and confident when speaking or writing English. This may be particularly important if you are looking to make a good impression in professional or academic settings.

Overall, it is important to understand the difference between “its” and “it’s” to use them correctly. Knowing when and how to use these terms will help you make a good impression with your writing and speaking, both in personal and professional contexts.

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