Its or It’s | Difference & Example Sentences
Though they’re pronounced the same, there’s a big difference in meaning between its and it’s.
- Its (without an apostrophe) is the possessive form of it, so it means ‘belonging to it’.
- It’s (with an apostrophe) is a contraction (shortened form) of it is or it has.
- Its’ (apostrophe after the ‘s’) is not actually a word, even though people sometimes mistakenly use it in place of its.
|Examples: ‘Its’ in a sentence||Examples: ‘It’s’ in a sentence|
|The dog chased its tail.||It’s almost two o’clock.|
|The article contradicted its own argument.||It’s best to do some research before deciding on a topic.|
Its: Possessive pronoun
Its is a possessive pronoun, like ‘his’ or ‘hers’. While possession is usually indicated by adding ’s to the end of the word, personal pronouns don’t use an apostrophe in the possessive form: I/my, he/his, she/her, it/its.
Be extra careful when typing ‘its’. Spell checkers will sometimes mistake your meaning and insert an apostrophe where none is needed, so make sure to check yourself.
It’s can be used as a contraction of it is or it has. It’s never used in place of it was, though.
Although contractions are fine in informal writing, you should avoid contractions in formal or academic writing. So you’ll never write it’s in an academic text.
Worksheet: Its vs it’s
Want to test your knowledge of the difference between ‘its’ and ‘it’s’? Download our practice worksheet with the buttons below. Fill in either ‘its’ or ‘it’s’ in the gaps in the sentences.