Its It’s – which to use?
Lots of people get mixed up between its and it’s even though it is quite straightforward.
It’s with an apostrophe is short for “it is” or “it has”. It is known as a contraction.
Its without an apostrophe means something belonging to it. It is known as a possessive pronoun.
It is a nice day, can be written as: It’s a nice day.
The dog is playing with its ball does not have an apostrophe because the ball belongs to the dog. It stands for the dog.
Let me give you some examples.
Here are some examples of it’s with an apostrophe.
It’s always sunny.
It’s my life.
It’s all my fault.
It’s just rock and roll
It’s easy being green.
It’s none of your business.
It’s a dog’s life.
It’s my friend’s birthday today.
If it’s to be it’s up to me.
It’s not the money that counts, it’s the thought.
It’s your body, take care of it.
It’s ok to tell other people.
You will have noticed that it’s often comes at the beginning of a sentence but that is not always the case.
When there are clouds in the sky, it’s more likely to rain.
I wonder why it’s not easier to understand these questions.
Here are some examples of its without an apostrophe.
The football team is very successful because its players all train hard.
The city park is beautiful and its lawns are cut regularly.
Paris is well known for its many beautiful buildings.
The school has cleaned all its windows.
The moat around a castle used to help stop its enemies getting into it.
The aeroplane was starting its engine.
London is the capital of England and it is well known for its red buses.
The elephant was waving its trunk.
China is proud of its Great Wall.
Now you have a go with these:
Decide whether to use its or it’s. You can scroll down after for the answers.
1. America elects _____ presidents every four years.
2. The wizard’s cat licked _____ lips.
3. Mum said that _____ a long time before we can go on holiday again.
4. Where are all the parking spaces? _____ been half an hour since we started looking for one!
5. The tree looks bare now that all _____ leaves have fallen off.
6. The giant panda is a carnivore but _____ diet is actually 90% bamboo.
7. The ouroboros is an Egyptian symbol which has a serpent or snake swallowing _____ own tail.
8. _____ a Wonderful Sponge is the new Spongebob Movie.
9. That house is lucky _____ roof didn’t blow off.
10. _____ interesting to see how different animal live.
11. Did you know _____ not too hard to make fat balls for birds?
12. _____ nice that you go and help out your auntie.
13. The new play began _____ tour of Great Britain.
14. The laptop needed _____ keyboard cleaning.
15. _____ the small things in life that matter.
Scroll down for your answers
1. America elects its presidents every four years.
2. The wizard’s cat licked its lips.
3. Mum said that it’s a long time before we can go on holiday again.
4. Where are all the parking spaces? It’s been half an hour since we started looking for one!
5. The tree looks bare now that all its leaves have fallen off.
6. The giant panda is a carnivore but its diet is actually 90% bamboo.
7. The ouroboros is an Egyptian symbol which has a serpent or snake swallowing its own tail.
8. It’s a Wonderful Sponge is the new Spongebob Movie.
9. That house is lucky its roof didn’t blow off.
10. It’s interesting to see how different animal live.
11. Did you know it’s not too hard to make fat balls for birds?
12. It’s nice that you go and help out your auntie.
13. The new play began its tour of Great Britain.
14. The laptop needed its keyboard cleaning.
15. It’s the small things in life that matter.
8 thoughts on “Its It’s – which to use?”
Oh thanks for this! It felt like a revision after many years of studying in school. I think sometimes I get caught up and use its instead of it’s but thanks for the clarification and the examples. They appeared so simple and straightforward. It’s good to tutor our children and get them learn the right English.
Yes, it’s like so many things. Once you get it, it’s obvious.
I’m hoping this makes things straightforward for parents and their children.
If it does then it’s done its job!!
All the best,
Wow! Thank you very much for this wonderful enlightening post. Most times we often make simple grammatical mistakes not only when reading but also while writing. Foundation classes in schools should be encouraged to teach children the proper usage of these english words.
I will really love that you also write an article on grammar in english language i.e words that could be used in the british context and the words that could be used in an american context. A video or audio lecture would’nt be a bad idea either. I am really interested.
Thank you for this educative write up.
Thanks for reply and for the suggestion of comparing British and American words.
All the best,
Quite educative, most people are confused when and where to apply”its” and it’s. At times I found my self having difficulty in using both. In most cases, some believe that “its” is the abbreviation of “it is”.
Thank you for this clear explanation, it was so helpful now I can teach the young ones.
I’m glad you found this useful.
All the best,
Hello, I really appreciate your time and effort on writing about the proper uses of “its” and “it’s”.
I always confused the two and used them interchangeably. But it is quite simple once you actually learn the proper way to use it. It’s = It is or It has, and Its means something belonging to it.
I’m not very good at grammar and I didn’t realize that such little things can change the entire meaning of the word. Thanks to this article, now I know.
I am glad that this has been helpful!