Its Vs. It’s: What Is The Difference?

Have you ever been puzzled by the words its and it's? Don't worry; you're not alone! These two short words frequently cause confusion, especially during writing. In this lesson, we'll explain the difference between its and it's, so you can confidently use them in your writing.

Its or It's

Its: Possession without an Apostrophe

Firstly, let's meet its. Its is a possessive pronoun, just like his or her. It shows that something belongs to or is associated with a certain animal or thing. For example:

  • The cat licked its paws after eating. (The paws belong to the cat.)
  • The tree lost its leaves in autumn. (The leaves belong to the tree.)

No apostrophe here! That's the key to keeping it separate from it's.

It's: The Contracted Duo

This time, the apostrophe plays a crucial role. It's is a contraction, short for it is or it has. Whenever you see it's, you know it's a combination of it and a verb. For example:

  • It's raining outside. (It is raining outside.)
  • It's been a long day. (It has been a long day.)

Apostrophe alert! The apostrophe in it's replaces the missing letters (i and ha) from it is or it has.

Quick Tips to Remember:

  1. Its is possessive (no apostrophe): Use it when something belongs to or is connected to an animal or thing.
  2. It's is a contraction (with an apostrophe): Use it to combine it is or it has in a sentence.