Lawless English

Its vs It’s

It's vs its
It’s good for each color to have its own shelf.
Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Mixed up English

These two English words are very often used incorrectly by native speakers. It’s important that you understand the difference.


It’s is a contraction of it is or it has.

It’s time to go.

Do you think it’s ready?

I read your article – it’s very good.

Do you know where my purse is? It’s on the table.

It’s been a long time.


Its is the possessive form of it.

That’s an interesting device – what is its purpose?

I saw Les Misérables during its initial run.

This stove has its own timer.

The bird lost some of its feathers.

Where is its head office?

The Bottom Line

The confusion between it’s and its occurs because with virtually every other word, ‘s indicates possession. Consequently, English speakers naturally want to use it’s to mean "something belonging to it." But it’s is only used when it’s a contraction of it is or it has.

The ironclad rule – no exceptions – is that if you can replace the word with it is or it has, use it’s. Otherwise, it’s always its.

Related difficulties

 Share / Tweet / Pin Me!

Exit mobile version