- Its is the possessive pronoun for it.
- It’s is a contraction meaning it is.
- Its’ is not a word.
Choosing between its vs. it’s is a bit challenging for some people. Sometimes, even seasoned writers use its and it’s incorrectly in their writing because the words sound the same. Luckily, choosing the right one is easy after you learn a few simple rules.
Don’t mix up its and it’s in your work. Read our practical tips below so you can always choose the correct word.
What is the Meaning of Its?
Its is the possessive pronoun for it, which describes an object, person, or other entity.
It’s is a contraction that means “it is.” People often use it’s instead of its because they assume an apostrophe plus ‘s’ always signifies ownership. Remember, many other possessive pronouns omit the apostrophe as well. This is true for my, your, hers, and his.
You may have also seen some people write its’ with an apostrophe at the end. This is a grammatical error because its’ is not a word.
Which Is Correct: It’s or Its?
Use its when expressing possession, and it’s when you want to say it is. The words are not interchangeable.
What Is the Difference Between It and It’s?
It is a pronoun. It’s is a contraction for it is. It usually references an inanimate object, such as a car, book, or beverage. You can also use it to describe a person, animal, or plant.
Let’s break things down a bit more. It is a third-person singular neuter pronoun. Generally, the word it appears as the subject, indirect object, or direct object of a verb. It can also be the object of a preposition.
It’s is a contraction that combines this pronoun with the verb is. Is expresses a state of being.
It’s is not the plural or possessive form of it. Writers should use its when they need a possessive pronoun.
It’s vs. Its: How to Decide Between the Two
It’s always takes the place of it is, while its signifies ownership or possession. You can check for accuracy of it’s by substituting the phrase it is in your sentence.
If you can’t substitute it is, then you should use its rather than it’s.
We hope this clears up any confusion you have about it’s vs. its.