Little Book of Confusables

Lets vs let’s: simple tips to remember the difference

Do you know when the word LETS needs an apostrophe and when it doesn’t? Let’s take a look at the difference (see what I did there?).

When to use LETS without an apostrophe

LETS and LET’S both have the same root word: LET, which means allow, or permit.

Without the apostrophe, LETS is the third-person singular present tense form of the verb LET.

Use it in sentences where LETS can be replaced with either ALLOWS or PERMITS.

For example:

The key LETS you unlock the door.

The app LETS you meet new people.

When to use LET’S with an apostrophe

LET’S with an apostrophe is a contraction of two words: LET and US.

Use it when you’re encouraging someone to do something.

For example:

LET’S go to the pub.

LET’S buy a drink.

LET’S do it.

LET’S go!

Of course, if you want to sound more formal, you might prefer to use LET US.

LET US go to the park.

Worth knowing…

The word LETS can also be used in a property sense (real estate, if you’re using American English) to describe a rented property.

For example:

The agent handles a number of property LETS in the local area.

Let's vs lets – what's the difference?

LET’S vs LETS – what’s the difference?