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What’s the Difference Between “Its” and “It’s”?

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Mixing up “it’s” and “its” can happen to anyone. We’ll teach you how to avoid this common mistake.

Learn when to use its and it s.
Do you know how to use these words correctly?
“Its” vs. “It's”

It’s is a contraction that stands for it is or it has.

  • It’s supposed to rain all day. = It is supposed to rain all day.
  • It’s been raining all day. = It has been raining all day.

Its is an adjective that indicates possession.

  • The entire house is beautiful, but its backyard is what makes it stand out.

The Difference Between “It’s” and “Its”

Occasionally, slipping in an apostrophe where there’s not supposed to be one can happen to anyone. That’s usually the case when it comes to these two words: it’s and its. Read on to learn what these words mean and how to use them correctly.

When to Use “It’s”

It’s is a contraction that stands for it is or it has.

It’s going to be a beautiful wedding. = It is going to be a beautiful wedding.
It’s been a long day. = It has been a long day.
When to use its and its: Explanation and examples.
Try to remember that the apostrophe signals that a portion of the words have been removed.

When to Use “Its”

Its is the possessive form of it, and is used to show possession or belonging.

The bird built its own nest.
After getting yelled at, the boy put the expensive model truck back in its place.

Please note that while it’s is used for several tenses (going-future, present perfect, etc.), its is not.

Picture shows the word "ITS" with someone "kicking" the apostrophe away.
Remember: “Its” is a possessive form of the word “it.”

Using “Its” and “It’s” Correctly

When in doubt, substitute the word in question with it is or it has. If the sentence makes sense, then an apostrophe is needed. If it doesn’t make sense, then there’s no need for an apostrophe.

It’s a great day for some baseball!

It is a great day for some baseball!

She put the plant back in its appropriate pot.

She put the plant back in it is appropriate pot.

It’s been hard for him to accept.

It has been hard for him to accept.

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Mistakes like mixing up it’s and its happen often, even to the most skilled writers. That’s why using LanguageTool is so beneficial. Its editor automatically detects these blunders and offers corrections. It’s also capable of detecting grammar errors, and suggests improvements to enhance your writing.

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