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        Its vs. It’s: When to Use Its and It’s in a Sentence

        • calenderAug 11, 2023
        • calender 3 min read

        Are you confused about whether to use its vs. it’s? If yes, you are sailing in the same boat with many who face this problem. If you’ve mistakenly used these words due to their similar pronunciation, don’t worry! Today, we’ll resolve your its vs. it’s confusion once and for all.

        We’ll also provide you with an effective tip to remember the difference between it’s and its. So without wasting any time, let’s dive in. 

        What is the difference between its and it’s

        Here’s the difference between its and it’s

        It’s is the short form used instead it is or it has.

        It is not easy to climb Mount Everest.

        It’s not easy to climb Mount Everest. 

        It has been known that Mount Everest is difficult to climb.

        It’s been known that Mount Everest is difficult to climb. 

        Its is a possessive pronoun, used to show ownership of an object or a thing. It is used in the context of entities that don’t have a specific gender. 

        The restaurant has its own bar.

        The cat licked its paw.

        The bird flew to its nest. 

        What are possessive pronouns? 

        Possessive pronouns are words used to describe nouns mentioned in the sentence. They explain the relation to the noun mentioned in the sentence. Your, her, and his are examples of possessive pronouns. 

        For example: He shortlisted your name for the competition.

        It’s vs. Its: When to use its and it’s?

        You can use its to explain how a person or thing owns something. 

        • The baby put its thumb in its mouth. 
        • The bird flapped its wings. 
        • Its eyes were coal black. 
        • The suit was gray and its pockets were huge. 

        You can use it’s as an abbreviation of it is or it has. This usage is more common in informal conversations and articles. 

        • Tomorrow, it’s a holiday. (it is)
        • It’s a recent update. (it is)
        • It’s not been an easy journey. (it has)
        • It’s been ages since I visited my nephew. (it has)

        These its vs. it’s examples effectively explain the difference between it’s and its. However, it’s vs. its is not the only word choice people struggle with. You may accidentally write its’ instead of its or it’s. So let’s find out whether it’s right to use the word its’. 

        Its vs. it’s vs. its’

        The word its’ is an incorrect spelling which cannot be used instead of it’s or its. Its’ is not recognized by any dictionaries worldwide and shouldn’t be used in informal or formal writing. 

        Now that you have clarity about the usage of its vs. it’s vs. its’, the question arises: How to remember the correct spelling? Don’t worry, we have a simple method that’ll help you choose the right word. 

        How to remember whether to use its or it’s? 

        When you’re confused about the correct spelling, try replacing it’s with it has or it is and analyze if the sentence sounds grammatically correct. If the sentence doesn’t sound grammatically correct after replacing it’s, its might be the correct spelling.

        The jar sat on the table, ___ lid partially open.

         The jar sat on the table, it is lid partially open.

        The jar sat on the table, it has lid partially open.

         The jar sat on the table, its lid partially open.

        We hope this helped you understand the difference between its vs. it’s. As experts who provide editing and proofreading services, it’s our job to help you out with such questions! 

        Do you want to avoid making spelling, grammatical, and word choice errors while writing? Here are some resources that will help you achieve this goal:

        Frequently Asked Questions

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        Priya Linkedin

        Priya has a talent for academic research and enjoys simplifying complex topics. When she's not helping students improve their writing, she can be seen reading poetry, playing the harmonium, or learning classical dance.

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