It’s or its? Simple steps to help you remember

Posted on , by Sarah Townsend in Confusables, Grammar articles, Spelling tips, Writing tips no comments
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IT’S or ITS? These straightforward tips will help you remember the difference between these two commonly confused words.

Knowing whether to write it’s or its can trip you up.

In a nutshell, it’s is always a contraction of it is or it has, while its describes something that belongs to ‘it’.

It’s

The apostrophe reminds you that it’s is a contraction of it is or it has. If you can replace the word with ‘it is’ or ‘it has’ use it’s.

Example:

It’s easy when you remember this rule (it is).

It’s been a busy day (it has).

Its

Usually followed by a noun, its describes something that belongs to ‘it’:

Example:

The dog chased its tail.

We get confused because we know apostrophes are used to indicate possession – that something belongs to someone, or something. But this rule doesn’t apply to pronouns – its, yours, his, hers, ours, theirs.

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