Rules of Using 'its' and 'it's'| Pronouns | Learning Concepts
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Pronouns

Concept: Using 'its' and 'it's '

What is its and it’s?

  1. Its is a possessive form of the pronoun ‘it’ which means belonging to something.
  2. Example:

    The cat is lying on its mat.

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  3. It’s is the short form for the words ‘it is’ or ‘it has’ where in the letter ‘i’ is replaced by an apostrophe (‘).
  4. Example 1:

    She doesn’t think it’s a good idea.

    She doesn’t think its a good idea.

    In the sentence set given in example 1, it’s can be read as ‘it is’ which makes a meaningful sentence. However, its cannot be used in the same sentence as it means ‘something’s or someone’s possession’, which is incorrect usage of the word.

    Example 2:

    It’s been a decade since the last time we met.

    Its been a decade since the last time we met.

    Similarly, in the sentence set of example 2, it’s can be read a ‘it has’; however, this word cannot be replaced with ‘its’.

Difference Between its and it’s

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Its and it’s are pronounced the same but they do not have the same meaning. These words are one of the most commonly confused words. Let us take a look at the differences.

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How not to confuse ‘Its’ with ‘it’s’? Which one should you use?

It is easy to confuse yourself with both the words, especially when they sound the same. Once you know the correct usage of the words, it is comparatively easier to remember the difference.

When using these words in a sentence, always follow the points given below:

  1. Remember that its is a possessive pronoun, so when framing the sentence, you can replace its with the words somebody’s or something’s. If the newly formed sentence is a meaningful sentence, then the word its can be used in the same sentence.
  2. Example:

    The tree was a hundred years old, and its roots were very deep.

    The tree was a hundred years old, and something’s roots were very deep.

  3. Similarly, when using the words, it’s, replace it with the words ‘it is’ or ‘it has’ and check if the sentence is meaningful one or not.
  4. Example:

    It’s a nice to be hopeful about the future.

    It is nice to be hopeful about the future.

    Common Mistakes

    1. Using It’s in place of Its and vice versa.
    2. .
      • Use it's as the shortened form of ‘it is’. Also applicable for other letters like ‘I’m’ which is ‘I am’ or ‘I can’t’, which is ‘I cannot’.
      • Use its as the possessive pronoun, equivalent to words like his, hers, ours. ‘It’ is a third-person singular neuter pronoun used for inanimate ideas or things. Its is a possessive pronoun form of it, which means - belonging to it.

      Examples:

      1. It’s so nice to meet you!
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      3. It’s been so long since we met.
      4. The brand has increased the prices of its products.
      5. Overall, I didn’t like the film though its songs and visuals were amazing.
    3. Never use the apostrophe after the word (its'). It is grammatically incorrect to use the apostrophe after the letter ‘s’ in the word (its').
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